Molly Bloom primed for Pukekohe assault

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Molly Bloom asserted her dominance last month when storming to victory in the Group 1 1000 Guineas (1600m), and the glamour filly will return to Northern spoils in the Group 2 Hallmark Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day at Pukekohe.

The daughter of Ace High was nothing short of sensational in the $500,000 fillies' feature at Riccarton, coming from near last to sail past quality opposition in Impendabelle and , the latter among several key race rivals in the Eight Carat Classic.

“We brought her home from Riccarton and she had a quiet week in the paddock, being able to fly home for the first time this year certainly saw her recover quicker,” said Scott, who trains the filly in partnership with .

“We've been very pleased with her training leading into the race, her body weight indicates she hasn't got away on us.”

Molly Bloom will have the undeniable of aboard at Pukekohe, the top Victorian hoop partnering a number of Wexford's key hopes on the card during his New Zealand visit.

“We believe it's another step-up for her in a strong field, but we have the aid of Blake who is obviously a very good jockey,” Scott said.

“We're hoping she can put in a similar performance to what she has all season, which should take her close to being very competitive.”

Scott also highlighted the chances of stablemate Grail Seeker, the daughter of Iffraaj coming off a close-up second to Just As Sharp in the Listed Trevor & Corallie Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m) earlier this month.

“She just got run down in the shadows of the post at , and we believe she is a filly that's up to this class,” he said.

“With a senior rider (Joe Doyle) going on and a bit more of a patient ride, she can be right there in the finish. We certainly think she's not out of the race at all.”

Wexford's eye-catching colts Geriatrix and Monday Melody will contest a sharp line-up in the Group 2 Auckland Guineas (1400m) earlier on the card, with Shinn and Doyle respectively in the saddle.

A son of Almanzor, Geriatrix finished on strongly in fourth last-start behind race-rival Zabmanzor in the Group 3 Stakes (1600m), following two scorching home-straight performances earlier in his campaign.

“Having Blake on will certainly help, we think he's up to this calibre of race, but he just needs things to go his way in the race,” Scott said.

“We raced a bit close down there last time (at ), but he's a strong finisher and if he can relax from an awkward draw (10), there's certainly a good gallop in him.”

Monday Melody broke maiden status in September when beating subsequent stakes-winning fillies in Glamour Tycoon and Still Bangon, before finishing back behind the major players in the Group 2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial (1400m).

“He's had a quick freshen since the Sarten, he'll wear blinkers for the first time and if there is a shower of rain or two around, that will certainly aid his chances a lot. He could come on with fresh legs from a good gate (6),” Scott said.

While Monday Melody will don the Hermitage Thoroughbreds colours, Geriatrix will represent many of the same owners as Uderzo.

Uderzo was electric over the 1200m first-up at Tauranga building a 6.25 length winning margin, before a keen run in transit saw him finishing a similar distance behind class acts in Mercurial and Bonny Lass last-start.

“His first-up win was really good, but he just lacked a bit of luck last-start. Things just didn't quite go his way, he got a wee bit wide and getting a nice run from the cosy draw on Tuesday should see him really finish strong,” Scott said.

“We think he's up to this class of horse in the Open grade, so he's probably benefitted from his first two runs. He should be pretty close.”

With their leading three-year-olds contesting the Group events, Wexford will also prepare capable understudies in Tanganyika and Grande Gallo in the SkyCity 1400.

A fellow progeny of Molly Bloom's sire Ace High, Tanganyika demonstrated his promise with a victory on debut, before finishing third behind a quality performer in Snazzytavi last start.

“Tanganyika's going well, but he's drawn a pretty tough gate in 18. He's continued to train on and maintained good bodyweight through the campaign, but he's just going to need a lot of luck from that gate,” Scott said.

“He's a horse with a good lot of ability, and he should be competitive with the right run.”

Grande Gallo returns to her winning 1400m trip and will reunite with Sam Spratt after making the journey South for the Guineas, the Belardo filly finishing back in the field after over-racing in a testing mile.

“She's another that has come away from Riccarton, things didn't really go her way down there and she got a bit fired up with the blinkers on. We've taken them off, and being back in distance and class she's going to be a lot more competitive,” Scott said.

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