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Tough Contest in G3 Desert Gold Stakes

Friday 27 January 2012, 8:59AM

By New Zealand Bloodstock

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TRENTHAM

The seventh leg of New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series, the $70,000 Group 3 Tiger Prawn Desert Gold Stakes (1600m), is set to take place at Trentham on Saturday, with a host of talented fillies contesting a wide open affair.

The points table for New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series is starting to take shape with Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas winner Planet Rock on 20 points, ten clear of her nearest rival Testa Secret in second place, with Group 2 Royal Stakes winner Chicharita in third with eight points.

Heading Saturday's line-up is Testa Secret (Testa Rossa x Acacian Secret) who has been a picture of consistency this preparation for trainer Kevin Gray. Since her second to Dowager Queen (Savabeel) in the Listed Fillies Stakes in September, she has run three second placings from four starts, her most recent coming in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic on Boxing Day.

She is in second place in New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series and again looks well-placed in a highly competitive field. She has drawn well in eight with Buddy Lammas to ride.

Displaying a similar form line, Capital Diamond (Lucky Unicorn x Diamond Smile) has put together four consecutive third placings including in the Group 1 1000 Guineas and Group 3 Eulogy Stakes. Trained by Lisa Latta for Sir Patrick & Justine Hogan and the Capital Diamond Syndicate, the filly has five points in New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series and has drawn well in three for jockey Jonathan Riddell.

Also sporting the Cambridge Stud colours, Pussy O'Reilly (O'Reilly x Octapussy) is from a performing family with her sister Pussy Willow winning the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes last weekend. She has been racing in consistent form for trainer Don Sellwood, with three placings from her four starts this preparation, and will have her first start at 1600 metres on Saturday with James McDonald aboard.

Taking seven points and fourth place in the Filly of the Year Series when running second in the Group 1 1000 Guineas, Abeautifulred (Handsome Ransom x You Beauty) ran fourth in the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes two starts ago. She was unplaced at her last start behind Planet Rock in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic for trainers Graeme & Debbie Rogerson, and has drawn barrier nine on Saturday.

The Shaune Ritchie trained Artistic (Darci Brahma x Artless) won the Listed Bonecrusher Stakes four starts ago and has been racing consistently since, running fourth in the Group 1 1000 Guineas and Group 2 Eight Carat Classic. She looks to have every chance for owners The Oaks Stud, with Michael Coleman to ride from gate 14.

Richie will also saddle another daughter of Darci Brahma, Forgive No Forget (ex Mejeiro). A lightly raced filly, she has only had four starts, two of which she has won, and comes into the race after a creditable fourth in the Listed Championship Stakes behind Duckworth Lewis (Postponed) over 2100 metres.

Postponed is currently in first-equal position with O'Reilly for individual three-year-old winners in New Zealand with ten, and will have Poste Restante (Postponed x Little Tee) in the Group 3. Trained by Howie Mathews, the filly comes into the race off the back of a two-and-a-half-length win at Woodville where she came from the back of the field. She is well drawn in barrier two for jockey Hayden Tinsley.

Oak Park (More Than Ready x Dawnie Dancer) also comes into the field off the back of a winning performance for trainer Murray Baker at Ellerslie in late December, and has drawn well in six with Craig Grylls to ride.

Trainer John Sargent has two entries in the race with Quintessential (Fast 'N' Famous x Florette) and Cathay Lady (Exceed and Excel x Kerimba).

Quintessential has only had four starts but she looks to have a good deal of ability. Her two wins have seen her produce good finishes from the back of the field and she will be stepping up to 1600 metres for the first time on Saturday.

Exceed and Excel can do little wrong at present and Cathay Lady has never finished worse than fourth in her six starts. She has been nabbed at the post or been very close when finishing late in all four of her second placings and is another that will have her first trip over the mile.

The lightly raced Divine Spice (Postponed x Lady Gesine) has looked impressive in her four starts for trainer Stephen Marsh, breaking her maiden at her second appearance by three lengths and taking a further two seconds coming into Saturday's contest.

Murray Neal trained The Filly (Ishiguru x Bayline Beauty) and Innovation (Keeper x Miss Grosvenor) from Ralph Manning's yard also come into the Group 3 off the back of second placings.

The Filly has only had three starts, winning her second and placing on debut and in her last appearance at Awapuni where she was run down late after leading by fellow runner Quintessential. Innovation broke her maiden in her second start and finished her last race off well running on for second behind Queen of Rock (Elvstroem).

The well-bred Zabeel filly Asavant (Zabeel x Pins 'n' Needles) comes into the race as a maiden but has been racing impressively over shorter distances given her breeding. She has placed in three of her six races for trainers John & Karen Parsons and will have her fourth consecutive start over the mile on Saturday. She is nominated for the Oaks and will be one to watch as she gets over more ground.

Special Draw (Falkirk x Summer Nymph) rounds off this highly competitive field and is another filly that will have her first race over a mile for trainers Dick & Chris Bothwell. Her record shows four starts for a win and a placing and she did not get all favours in her last start being three-wide the trip. She has drawn the ace barrier with the services of jockey Rosie Myers.

The winner of the $70,000 Group 3 Tiger Prawn Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) will earn 6 points in New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series, with second taking 3 points, and third 1.5 points.

The Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes will be held at Trentham at 2.45pm (NZ time). To view the current points table for New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series, click here:
 http://www.nzb.co.nz/info/filly.cfm
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