Promising three-year-old Taroni will begin her path towards the Group 1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) when she lines-up at Te Rapa on Saturday. The daughter of Showcasing will contest the Group 3 WRC Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and trainer Lance Noble is hoping for a solid performance from his charge after her pleasing trial last month. “She had a trial just on a month ago and we were happy with that,” he said.
Taroni won two of her three races as a juvenile, however, she was relegated to second on debut, while she also placed in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) in January, and Noble said she has improved since then. “She couldn’t have done much more as a two-year-old,” Noble said.
“She has naturally improved from two to three and I am looking forward to seeing how she competes. “It’s against the colts as well, so we will know how we measure up and it’s a nice stepping stone to the Gold Trail Stakes (Group 3, 1200m) in a couple of weeks.”
The 1000 Guineas remains the ultimate aim this spring for Taroni, however, Noble said he is unsure whether she will suit the mile distance. “We will just follow the normal pattern to the 1000 Guineas,” he said. “The Soliloquy (Group 3, 1400m) will be the next logical step after Hastings. “We are not quite sure whether she will get 1600m. She is quite a speedy filly, but we will be trying to see if we can get that distance of the 1000 Guineas.”
One stablemate Noble is hoping will join Taroni on her trip down to Hastings in a fortnight is stakes winner Bavella. She will line-up in the Ten Sovereigns 1200 with the aim of boosting her chances of making the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) field.
She won her 1050m trial at Ruakaka last month against a quality line-up that included The Bostonian, Dawn Patrol, and Jennifer Eccles, and Noble has taken plenty of confidence out of that performance. “Her trial was very good,” he said. “We have scratched her out of the Foxbridge (Group 2, 1200m). She was third on the ballot and had drawn 17, so even if she got in it was going to be a very hard ask against that quality line-up.
“We have elected to run her in the (rating) 82 1200m. Unfortunately she has drawn the outside there as well, but we are hoping her class might be able to help her out. “We are really trying to get some points so we can try and get into the Tarzino.”
Noble will also line-up A Proper Lady in the Vespa 1300 on Saturday. “She is very well and also had a quiet trial at Ruakaka,” he said. “It’s a little bit of an awkward gate (10), but she is quite forward. I would probably rather it have been 1200m rather than 1300m fresh-up, but I have been very happy with her work.”
Meanwhile, Noble had been hoping to watch former stable runner La Vernazza compete in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday, however, the filly has been scratched after she was found to be lame in the near hind leg following trackwork on Thursday morning.