Te Akau Racing trainer Jason Bridgman has decided to rely solely on Chambord (NZ) for the G1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton this Saturday.
The stable’s top-class fillies Spellbinder (O’Reilly) and Costa Viva (Encosta De Lago) will be reserved for the G1 NZ 1000 Guineas on Saturday week, November 16.
“We kept our options open and it was tempting to run Costa Viva against the colt and geldings,” Bridgman said. “But they are chasing the Filly of the Year series and we didn’t want that jeopardised.”
Chambord (3g Zabeel – Miss Montjeu by Montjeu) broke his maiden with ease at Gisborne and was then runner-up to Costa Viva in the LR Ray Coupland Stakes at Ashburton. He got back and, despite racing greenly, made good ground in the closing stages.
“He’s got a lot of speed even though he’s by Zabeel out of a Montjeu mare,” Bridgman explained. “The challenge will be getting him to relax over the mile at Riccarton.”
Chambord is from a half-sister to HK International Mile winner The Duke. “The 2000 Guineas is wide open,” Bridgeman said. “He made up six lengths on Costa Viva last time and they ran a tick outside the track record.
“He’s a very progressive horse and still a bit rough around the edges. He’s has been quite flighty, but in his work he has become a lot more settled and he will improve more on a good track at Riccarton.”