Australian punters will get their first look at New Zealand Group One winner She's Licketysplit (Previously Lickety Split) at Caulfield on Saturday where she will contest the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m).
The daughter of Turn Me Loose impressed as a juvenile when winning two of her three starts, including the Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie in March.
She resumed in superb fashion at Ruakaka last month when winning the Group 3 Northland Breeders' Stakes (1200m) after which the decision was made to head across the Tasman with the promising filly.
“The way she won first up she had the signs of a horse looking for further already, she was really strong late through the line,” trainer Andrew Forsman said.
“She hasn't had a lot of racing but she has won three of her four starts and not by big margins, and that was very similar to Turn Me Loose.
“He was very tradesman like, he turned up and often got the job done.”
Forsman trained her sire in partnership with Murray Baker to seven victories from 20 starts, including wins in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), and Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).
She's Licketysplit travelled to Melbourne shortly after her Group Three win and Forsman has been pleased with the way she has settled in.
“I think she is pretty forward. She has been over there a few weeks now and had a jumpout which was nice to give her that day out to keep her up to the mark,” Forsman said.
“It has been a little while since her first-up run and now but I think she has done enough work and she had a good searching gallop on Tuesday morning.
“Damian Lane rode her in that jumpout, she was a little bit casual that day. It was only 800m on the steeple grass so they jump, go straight into a bend then sprint.
“She just got left a bit flat-footed, probably through greenness as much as anything, she then knuckled down to her task and hit the line well.”
Forsman is looking forward to getting a line on his filly this weekend and see how she measures up against her Australian counterparts.
“If she begins well enough she could roll forward and sit handy,” he said.
“She has been a little bit hit and miss out of the gates but from barrier eight, if she gets out of the gates cleanly she does have enough tactical speed to put herself there.”
Forsman is also looking forward to Mr Maestro's next assignment, the Victoria Derby Preview (1800m) at Flemington on Sunday.
The stakes performer has had two runs in Australia, finishing fourth at The Valley last start.
“At this stage the plan is to run him in the Derby Trial, hopefully he gets a reasonable track there,” Forsman said.
“It will be a month between runs which is not ideal but just the way his campaign has mapped out it looks the right option for him.”
Forsman has elected to remove the blinkers from the colt this weekend, citing his satisfactory performance in a jumpout without the gear.
“We gave him a jump out since his last run and left the blinkers off and he was a lot more tractable,” Forsman said.
“At The Valley he loomed up and almost knocked off the job with the blinkers on and I'm glad we gave him that jumpout with the blinkers off.”
Back in New Zealand, Forsman will have representation at Te Rapa on Saturday in the form of Group Three winner White Noise and Group One winner True Enough.
“White Noise and True Enough will go around in the open mile at Te Rapa providing we get a reasonable track which looks like it will be the case,” Forsman said.
“Hopefully White Noise is a Livamol (Group 1, 2040m) horse, it will depend how he goes on a better track and how the race shapes up. He is still pretty well placed in the handicap at this point and we need to be mindful of that as well.
“It is an option but there are other good options for him with how he is rated at the moment.”