A bold debut from promising Proisir filly Avaquinella at Timaru would please Riccarton trainer Lance Robinson but only an emphatic win would see her press on towards a Classic target.
Avaquinella has impressed winning two of her three trials and Robinson has a good opinion of the filly who still holds a nomination for the Group 1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 14.
Robinson will produce her in Friday’s Onceuponatime at Belmont Park Maiden (1200m) at Phar Lap Raceway with Terry Moseley booked to ride from a potentially awkward barrier draw of 13. “She’s pretty smart. She had a little issue on the way through which put us on the back foot a bit. She just had a splint come through which put us a fortnight to three weeks behind where we wanted to be,” Robinson said.
“We’ll give her the run tomorrow and see how she gets on. She might go to the paddock after this because we’ve got behind and there’s not a lot for her after Saturday, unless she was to win really impressively. “She’s got a bit of a tricky draw too but we’ll line up and see what she’s got. We really like her a lot though. She’s a really nice filly.”
Bred and raced by Timaru couple Mervyn and Andrea Hall, Avaquinella hails from the family of former champion three-year-old Vinaka, a winner of the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham and Group 1 Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie.
Robinson will have six runners at Friday’s meeting, the others being the capable duo of Khimar War and Succoso Segreto and maiden gallopers Purple Rain, Shining Bright and Parkview. “We really like Purple Rain. She trialled up really nicely. Waikato Stud sent her down and we gave her one run in winter. She didn’t really like the wet track but we wanted to get her up and going,” Robinson said.
“Shining Bright is back from Hong Kong and this is his first run for us. He didn’t quite measure up there but he wasn’t far away. Khimar War has come back well but he’ll need this run. It will bring him on in condition and he’ll be ready to go over Cup week hopefully.
“Succoso Segreto is a lovely staying mare. She went really nicely fresh and she’s going really well. She’s our best chance for Timaru. She’ll get ready for those staying races over Cup week and she’s still in the New Zealand Cup (Group 3, 3200m at Riccarton on November 14).”