Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston is taking just the one horse south to Wingatui’s Tuesday meeting, but he is confident of a bold showing from Ticket To Ride in the Harcourts Dunedin Open 1400m.
The daughter of Shocking took her win tally to seven two starts back over 1600m at Ashburton, while she finished a neck back in second behind Monza Circuito in the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile trial (1400m) at Riccarton last start. “I can’t fault the horse. She has had a pretty busy time of it over the last three or four weeks, but she is just thriving,” Carston said. “Her last run was as good a run as she has put up, and back to 1400m I thought they might have gone a bit quick, but she just got beaten by a head. “She has just continued to improve.”
The seven-year-old mare likes a bit of cut in the ground, having recorded six of her wins on a slow or heavy surface, and Carston said the Slow7 track conditions at Wingatui will be ideal. “I think she needs to be there just because there is going to be a slight cut in the track, that’s what she needs. Otherwise I would have waited until Riccarton.”
Ticket To Ride has drawn barrier nine in the 10 horse field, but Carston said apprentice jockey Kozzi Asano will be pressing forward regardless. “A mile at Wingatui there is plenty of room and plenty of time for you to cross. She is an on speed runner, so she will be going forward. “On her form she has got to be a chance.”
If Ticket To Ride performs well on Tuesday she could be set to try and add some valuable black-type to her record at Riccarton next week. “I’ll just see how she comes through the run and what the weather is like at Riccarton,” Carston said. “But I am thinking of running her in the Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (Group 3, 1400m) on Wednesday week.”