Group Three winner Force Of Will has arrived in Sydney ahead of her tilt at the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained filly is still finding her feet after flying over to Sydney on Monday, but her connections are confident she will settle in well ahead of her weekend assignment.
“She arrived yesterday evening. She went for a trot and canter this morning and she is sound,” O’Sullivan told SENtrack.
“She didn’t eat a lot of food last night, but it’s still early days yet and hopefully 24 hours on she will be far happier. She looks very well in herself, but it’s all very new to her at the moment.”
The Sir Owen Glenn-bred and raced filly has won four of her five starts to date, including the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in January.
The daughter of Power was scratched from the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) last month after her trainers weren’t happy with the routine bloods taken from her a couple of days prior.
She has since bounced back and subsequently won at Ellerslie earlier this month.
While pleased with his filly, O’Sullivan said he doesn’t know whether the 2000m of the Vinery will suit Force Of Will, having only been tested up to a mile previously.
“She has been one of those fillies that keeps improving,” he said. “The big unknown for us is running further than a mile, especially on her pedigree side. She is by Power, who don’t tend to look to run over a trip, but she is out of a staying family on the dam side.”
Force Of Will had a final hit-out at Tauranga on Saturday and O’Sullivan is looking forward to watching her contest her first Australian assignment this weekend.
“She is certainly forward enough,” he said. “She went along to the races at Tauranga on Saturday and did a nice piece of work and ran a bit of time.
“I think the really encouraging thing about her work was that she really ran through the line, she wasn’t getting tired towards the end. On the fitness side we don’t have any doubt there.
“I am certainly pleased to have her there and she deserves her chance.”
Stablemate Rocket Spade is set to join Force Of Will in Sydney next week as he gets prepared to line-up in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).
The Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner pleased his connections with his win over 1600m at Tauranga on Saturday and they believe he is on track for the Derby.
“He has pulled up well and ate up everything on the evening of the race and hasn’t left an oat since,” O’Sullivan said. “We plan to travel him over in six days’ time, on the Monday, and then into the big one.
“He is a very sound horse and he has continued to train on well.”
Last start Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) runner-up Sir Charles Road will complete Wexford Stables’ trio in Sydney over autumn, with the seven-year-old gelding looking to emulate his winning deeds in the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) three years ago.
“Sir Charles Road will run in the Chairman’s and follow a similar pattern to what he did two or three years back,” O’Sullivan said.