The Peter and Dawn Williams-trained Helsinki is on a less conventional path to the Group 1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park next month. The South Auckland trainers have elected to bypass the three-year-old features at Te Rapa this weekend in favour of a 1400m maiden at Matamata on Wednesday.
The daughter of Savabeel finished runner-up behind Mega Bourbon at Te Rapa last month, but her trainers believe a softer assignment is a better option for the three-year-old. “We have chosen to go to the maiden race and that is what we will probably do, but it will all depend on how much rain they have,” Peter Williams said. “I don’t think she is hard enough for them (this Saturday). “She will still carry on to the 1000 Guineas, we will just take a different path.”
Helsinki is owned by Sarah Green and Ger Beemsterboer of Barneswood Farm and Williams said they are keen to have the filly compete in the race they sponsor. “The owners are quite keen to go there (Riccarton) but the horse comes first,” he said. “She will probably have another run somewhere (before the 1000 Guineas).”
Williams was pleased with her first-up effort and said she has taken plenty of improvement from the run. “We were happy with her run and we have given her a bit of time to get over it,” he said. “She got bopped around a little bit that day, which wouldn’t have hurt her, it would have hardened her up a little bit.”
Green and Beemsterboer purchased Helsinki out of Waikato Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $525,000 after being identified by Williams. “She was a lovely type of filly with a pedigree,” he said.
Williams will also line-up fellow three-year-old Bella Button in the Comag Ltd 1600. The daughter of Proisir has finished third in both of her starts to date and Williams said he would like to see improved starting manners from her on Wednesday. “We would just like to see her jump out of the gates tomorrow (Wednesday), she’s just a bit tardy jumping from the gates and gets back a little bit,” he said. “If she jumps we will be really happy.”