Guy Lowry had high hopes for both of his runners in their Australian debuts at Rosehill only to be left with a double dose of frustration.
The Hastings trainer was represented by Wewillrock and Herself on Saturday and while the duo performed with credit, there was a feeling of what could have been.
The former finished runner-up after making the pace in his Benchmark 78 contest over 1200m while Herself suffered an interrupted passage before running sixth in a similar grade over 2400m.
Talented El Roca four-year-old Wewillrock had won his previous outing with authority on his home track at the end of last month after sitting off the pace and Lowry said the intention wasn’t to make the running on Saturday.
“We’ve tried to lead on him before and it doesn’t work and they weren’t the instructions, but he is quite a bold sort of horse and got going on him (apprentice, Dylan Gibbons).
“It was a bit disappointing and he carried a big weight (60.5kg) and he’s gone close and come through it really well.
“He probably would have liked a bit more cut out of the track as well to be fair.”
Lowry has a number of options to weigh up before confirming four-time winner Wewillrock’s next assignment in Sydney.
“There are couple of races at Randwick in three weeks’ time, similar type of races, and there’s also a stakes races over 1100m,” he said.
The Listed Bob Charley Stakes would give Wewillrock an opportunity for further black type after finishing third last season in both the Group 3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Almanzor Trophy (1200m).
“The problem is that he’ll go up in the ratings and I know he’s a big horse, but that won’t make it easy for him,” Lowry said.
“He’s really a senior rider’s horse and I couldn’t send him around with 63kg on his back.”
Wewillrock is owned by Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick with good friends, Hawke’s Bay-based brothers Mark and Paul Atapu and was purchased out Westbury Stud’s draft at Karaka by Lowry on their behalf for $35,000.
Stablemate Herself and rider Tom Sherry had nothing go their way before finishing in behind the major players.
“It was a disaster really, everywhere she went she ran up the backs of horses and it was hard to watch,” Lowry said.
“There’s another race coming up for her over 2400m in three weeks and there’s the Brisbane Cup (Group 2, 3200m), although it is a little unlikely but I haven’t ruled it out.
“She is a good mare and her runs at Christchurch were very good and she just had no luck.”
A daughter of Redwood, Herself has won two of her 14 starts and showed her staying potential during the New Zealand Cup carnival at Riccarton in the spring.
The five-year-old made ground well for fifth in the Listed Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) behind subsequent Group 2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) winner and dual Group One runner-up Campionessa and then ran a close second over 2500m nine days later.
Following a break, Herself was unplaced when resuming before stepping up to a middle distance to finish fifth and book her spot in Sydney with Wewillrock.
“They are horses on the way up and they have both vindicated being over there,” Lowry said.