Loire primed for Trentham resumption
Group One-winning filly Loire will be looking to add further black-type to her record when she lines-up in the Gr.3 New Zealand Bloodstock Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.
The three-year-old daughter of Redoute's Choice was victorious in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) in November and trainer Tony Pike was impressed with her resuming 1200m trial victory at Cambridge on January 6.
"You can't fault her trial at Cambridge last week, it was superb," he said. "Not many make up that much ground in the last furlong on the bridle at Cambridge.
"I couldn't fault her work this week, she is in great shape and I am looking forward to getting her back to the races.
"It should be a very good race. Jennifer Eccles won very well at Ellerslie and it's a nice group of three-year-old fillies this year.
"I think we are going to be better further up in trip as well, so as long as she is hitting the line strongly on Saturday I am looking forward to an Oaks path with her."
Thorndon Mile assignment for Rock On Wood
Levin galloper Rock On Wood will be vying for Group One glory at Trentham on Saturday when he contests the Gr.1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m).
The five-year-old son of Redwood boasts an impressive record of six wins and two placings from 11 starts, including victory in the Listed Anzac Mile (1600m) and a last-start runner-up performance in the Gr.2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m).
Trainer Leanne Elliot is looking forward to Saturday where Rock On Wood will jump from the ace barrier with Elliot's son Ryan aboard.
"There are good horses in the race and they all deserve to be there, I think it is just going to come down to the run on the day and hopefully he gets the gaps and he can run on," she said.
"Family is a big thing and I am glad to have Ryan there, I am so pleased for him to want to ride him. He loves it."
Jennings Confirmed for Luvaluva
Having first partnered mare Luvaluva in the Gr.3 Summer Cup (2000m) on Boxing Day, Koby Jennings was able to record his first Group victory when winning by under three lengths.
Connections were happy with the ride and wanted him booked for the mare again in the Gr.3 January Cup (2000m) last Saturday. The pair continued their fairy tale when taking race honours in similiar fashion.
Trainer John Sargent had identified the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa as a possible target for the mare and a good chance at getting some Group One black type for her pedigree. With a record of two starts for two wins discussions were held with connections as to who would ride the inform mare on February 8.
The decision on both points was unanimous to send the mare to John's home country and to keep the services of Jennings who seems to have formed a good partnership with the horse.
Luvaluva will head across to New Zealand in early February ahead of the race to allow her to settle in before Jennings then arrives to give her a final gallop and to also familiarise himself with the surroundings.