New Zealand trainer Chrissy Bambry isn’t expecting any early fireworks from her Group One performers Spring Tide and Deerfield when they belatedly open their campaigns at Trentham on Saturday.
The Foxton horsewoman has been frustrated by a lack of suitable races to kick off the duo, who will go head-to-head in the Southey Sayer Chartered Accountants Handicap (1400m).
“I would have liked to have got them back a bit sooner, but the programming didn’t favour any open 1200m races, there hasn’t been one for seven weeks so it’s been a bit of a mission,” Bambry said.
Spring Tide hasn’t raced since he was unplaced in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m), having finished runner-up in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at his previous appearance.
The son of Darci Brahma has had a couple of trial outings ahead of his return, but Bambry is expecting him to improve markedly with racing.
“He’s still carrying quite a bit of weight and will probably need a few runs before he’s ready to win,” she said.
“The logical target is something like the Opunake Cup (Listed, 1400m) and he’ll have a soft winter to lead into the Tarzino again.”
Spring Tide, who will benefit from Lily Sutherland’s 4kg claim, requires careful management and the right footing to show his best form.
“He is a day-to-day prospect and if he can stay sound I think he will be in for a good preparation,” Bambry said.
“He has got bad hock conformation and doesn’t handle puggy tracks. He just doesn’t have the strength in his hocks to be able to get out of it.
“He doesn’t handle rock hard tracks either, he just needs those loose tracks to suit him.”
Deerfield, who has a placing in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) to his credit, hasn’t raced for seven months and won his latest trial on his home track earlier this week under race day rider Sam O’Malley.
“He is a very quirky horse and you have to know him to get the best out of him and Sam knows him really well,” Bambry said.
“He will probably need this run, it’s hard stepping straight out at 1400m but he does like Trentham so hopefully he will run a good race. He’s probably the best of my two.”
Meanwhile, Bambry is expecting a much-improved performance from multiple stakes winner Bellacontte when she tackles the Rich Hill Stud Autumn Sprint Championship Final (1200m), also in the hands of O’Malley.
“The tracks have stayed harder than I had anticipated and she is a completely different horse on a wet track,” Bambry said.
Bellacontte has been unplaced in two appearances since a break and will strike her favoured going at Trentham, where she has won before.
“She has had a couple of runs, which have been satisfactory and she will strike a wet track and hopefully she will show her best,” Bambry said.
Bellacontte has won four of her 13 starts, including the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) and the O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes (1200m) during a lucrative spring campaign.