Te Akau team Dunedin-bound

Group One winner Prise De Fer will venture south this weekend to contest the Group 3 White Robe Lodge (1600m) at Wingatui.

The Mark Walker-trained seven-year-old is the clear top-rater in the weight-for-age feature which shapes as a nice target after missing last week’s Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) due to a foot issue.

“He had a sore foot and it was probably a blessing in disguise. He is over it now and with the way the track was at Trentham he would have got down there and scratched anyway,” Walker said.

“He is going to Wingatui for the White Robe Lodge (Group 3, 1600m). He enjoys going to the South Island so should be a chance.

“He is out of handicap racing now so it should suit him. He has had a bit of a freshen up after he ran on Boxing Day when second in the Zabeel Classic (2050m) so he is good for another three or four more runs.

“He will come back up via Otaki for the weight for age (Group 1, 1600m) and then he will go to the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (Group 1, 2000m).”

Walker has four runners nominated for the Dunedin meeting, with last-start Listed performer Perfect Scenario also nominated for the White Robe Lodge, while Romancing The Moon, who split Legarto and Prowess when second in the Group 3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m), will contest the Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m).

“1500m suits Romancing The Moon. 1400m to 1500m is really her go and she should run well,” Walker said.

“Illicit Miss runs in the Dunedin Gold Cup (Listed, 2400m) and we hope to get some black-type.”

Meanwhile, Walker confirmed both Wild Night and Imperatriz will gallop between races at Tauranga on Sunday ahead of Group One assignments at Te Rapa on February 11 in the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and BCD Group Sprint (1400m) respectively.

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