Promising New Zealand filly to step up at Te Rapa

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Promising filly Tevere will step-up to 1400m for the first time at Te Rapa this weekend.

The daughter of Contributer has pleased in her previous two starts over 1200m, culminating in a last start win at Te Rapa last month, and her connections believe she will appreciate the step up in distance on Saturday.

Pam Gerard, who trains Tevere in partnership with Michael Moroney, has been impressed with the three-year-old from the outset and was pleased she was able to break maiden ranks at the second time of asking.

“She has shown promise all along,” Gerard said. “She was very good at the trials, and good right through, but she is a little bit of a hot-headed filly and she has just taken a little while to put it all together.

“We have always known she has had plenty of ability, right from when she went through her ready-to-run prep.

“She showed us raceday (last start) what she had been showing us in her work. She is still a little bit green and I think she is only going to get better once she gets up to 1400m, and I think she can go through the grades.”

Bred and owned by Curraghmore’s Gordon Cunningham, Tevere continues a strong procession of fillies through the Ballymore Stables operation from the Te Awamutu farm.

That roll of honour includes the likes of Tofane, who went on to win the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) last year and runs in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm this Saturday, and Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) winner and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) placegetter Chicharita.

“We have had a really good success rate with Gordon,” Gerard said. “He puts the horses in front of us that are more than capable of doing the job and he is patient, he gives them the time that they need.

“He certainly knows how to breed a good horse. They have been fillies with a lot of ability, and that just makes our job so much easier.”

Gerard said they will take each race as it comes with Tevere, but they would like to target some black-type races next season with her.

“We will take it one race at a time and get through the grades,” she said. “We would love to have her ready for early spring and over the summer have a go at some black-type, but she is obviously going to need a wee break at some stage.”

While looking forward to Saturday with Tevere, Gerard will have a handful of runners at Matamata on Wednesday.

Last start winner Cork will be looking to go back-to-back in the Colin West Panelbeaters 1600, but Gerard isn’t sure whether she will handle the Heavy11 track conditions.

“We don’t know whether she is going to be able to handle the conditions as wet as what they are,” she said. “But on her home track and winning like she was last time, I guess we probably have to have a go.

“She seems well, I am happy with her.”

Last start placegetter Aurora Dolce has drawn the outside gate in the 14-horse field of the Life Pharmacy Matamata 1400, but Gerard said with the conditions, that may not be a bad thing.

“She is a nice filly, but she is another one that has taken a bit of time,” Gerard said. “She is a big, green, raw filly who is still learning.

“She probably got to the front a little bit too soon at Rotorua. The blinkers go on, her work has been good, and she has continued to improve.

“It’s a bit of a crappy draw but I don’t think she will mind the conditions and it might be the best place to be out there.”

As a result of the heavy track conditions, stablemate Heart of A Lion is a doubtful starter in The Merchant Of Matamata 2000, while Praetorian will make his raceday debut in the Matamata Directional Drilling 1200.

“Heart Of A Lion is improving all the time,” Gerard said. “We will just wait and see whether she goes tomorrow with the track conditions probably just a bit beyond her at that heaviness.

“But the sun is out, there is a bit of a breeze, we will see how much it dries out.

“Praetorian has trialled up quite nicely. He is from a family that takes a bit of time. I just want to give him a run somewhere and see how he handles things. I will probably put him aside and come autumn next year he might be a handy little horse.”

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