New Zealand trainer Andrew Carston will have a couple of stakes candidates at his home track of Riccarton this weekend.
Promising juvenile Art De Triomphe will have her first tilt at stakes level when she contests the Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
The filly became her sire Vadamos’ first New Zealand winner when victorious over 1000m at Riccarton a fortnight ago after placing on debut over the same distance and track a month prior.
Carston said Art De Triomphe is a versatile filly and he expects her to be a strong chance once again from barrier three.
“I am really happy with how she has come through her last run,” he said. “She is learning all the time and she is quite an exciting filly.
“It is a good barrier. It’s not a big field, and it’s a similar field to what she has been racing against.
“She is pretty tractable too, she dropped back in her first start and she led up the second time.
“But I would like to see her off the speed, I think she is a better chaser.”
Stablemate and fellow Go Racing Syndicated horse Severine has continued to impress Carston with her efforts this season, winning four races this campaign including her most recent start at Ashburton.
The five-year-old daughter of Pins will get her chance to add some black-type to her page when she jumps from barrier 13 in the Listed Daphne Bannan Memorial Great Easter Stakes (1400m).
“She has been a model of consistency,” Carston said. “She has been up a long time, but she has put four wins together over the preparation, and she continues to do well in the stables.
“She deserves her chance at black-type. It is a reasonably strong field, and it’s a sticky barrier draw, but she is in career best form.”
Severine will be partnered by leading apprentice jockey Kozzi Asano who is back with Carston after enjoying a short stint at Wexford Stables under the tutelage of former top jockey Lance O’Sullivan.
“He really enjoyed his time up there and he continues to travel every week and continues to improve,” Carston said.
Meanwhile, Milford Sound is heading to the spelling paddock after his rewarding northern campaign, where he placed in the Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) and Group 2 Championship Stakes (2100m).
The pleasing results add to his earlier placing in the Listed Southland Guineas (1600m), and Carston is looking forward to the lightly-tried galloper’s four-year-old season.
“Milford Sound is travelling home today from Auckland,” Carston said.
“He had a quiet week up there and he will go to the spelling paddock and we will find him some targets in the spring.
“He has done a fantastic job in his first preparation of racing.”