Exciting three-year-old filly Avantage is on the brink of a race day return after winning her 1000m trial heat at Avondale on Tuesday.
The Group One-winning daughter of Fastnet Rock did enough to get the better of pacemaker Starman to win by a head, with a further five-lengths back to stablemate Icebomb.
“I thought she trialled nicely,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “She’s a filly that doesn’t over exert herself unless she really has to.
“I thought they both (Avantage and Starman) quickened up well and got away from the rest of the field. I was pleased with how her action looked.”
Richards wants to see how Avantage pulls up after her run, but indicated she will likely join stablemate Probabeel in Sydney for her autumn campaign.
“We will be looking at Sydney, but I’d just like to have a look at her in the next couple of days to see how she’s come through the run before confirming that,” he said.
Avantage hasn’t been sighted on race day since winning the Gr.3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings in September, with a bone scan identifying a muscular issue with the filly after the race.
Purchased for $210,000 out of The Oaks Stud’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale by Te Akau principal David Ellis, Avantage has won six of her seven starts, with her only defeat coming in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) last year when she was runner-up to stablemate Sword of Osman.
Meanwhile, Group Two winner Our Abbadean pleased Richards with her five-length trial win over 1200m earlier in the day at Avondale.
Richards said the six-year-old benefited from the addition of blinkers and she will now be set for the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha next month.
“She trialled well. She doesn’t do a lot when she doesn’t have the blinkers on,” Richards said.
“We trialled her with the blinkers on today to make her do something, with a view of running in the Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha fresh-up, that has been the plan for a little while.” – NZ Racing Desk