HASTINGS RETURN FOR LLANACORD
Llanacord (NZ) (Contributer) will return to the venue of her biggest moment in racing when she lines-up in the Brew’s & Que’s Tickets On Sale Now (1400m) at Hastings on Saturday.
The daughter of Contributer has an unblemished record at the Hawke’s Bay track, having won her sole start, the Gr.2 Lowland Stakes (2100m) in March.
“Hastings has been good for her, being a Group Two winner, so you can’t complain with that,” trainer Stephen Nickalls said.
She subsequently went on to finish third in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m), before crossing the Tasman where she was runner-up in the Gr.3 SA Fillies Classic (2500m).
“She took everything in her stride from the time she left (for Australia). I met her at Patrick Payne’s and she never turned a hair on the transporter,” Nickalls said.
“She got to Morphettville, put her head in the feed bin and didn’t stop eating until she got on the plane to come home.
“She was amazing over there and settled back into life here in our lovely Manawatu mud quite comfortably. It is quite different to the warm climate of Morphettville.
“She has always been an easy filly to do anything with and that is why we had a bit of confidence to go to Adelaide.”
Nickalls has been pleased with the way she has returned this season and was buoyed by her runner-up result in a 1000m trial at Foxton earlier this month.
“We were really happy with her trial at Foxton the other day,” Nickalls said. “Leah (Hemi, jockey) got off and said she felt really nice. She then went to the Levin jumpouts a week later and did the same thing and pulled up really well.”
Saturday’s run will help prepare her for the last two legs of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown, with her ultimate target being the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on October 16.
“She is going to need the run on Saturday I am picking, she is a staying mare, but you have got to start somewhere,” Nickalls said.
“My gut feeling is that the last day will suit her much better. 2000m third-up was always going to be our target. Having said that, you have got to find a suitable race, the only other mile around the place is at Te Rapa the day before the Windsor Park (Gr.1, 1600m), so necessity may dictate that she has to go to the Hastings race (on October 2).
“There are a lot of things to happen, and that three to four-year-old year they all tell me that is the hardest jump. She is a two-win mare on a rating 82. You have got to jump in with the big kids and she hasn’t done that yet.
“We will see what she does on Saturday and make a decision from there, we have got no firm plans.”