Jason Bridgman’s classic challenge gained further momentum when stablemates Costa Viva (Encosta De Lago) and Chambord (Zabeel) filled out a Listed quinella in the Ray Coupland Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton.
Costa Viva proved superior on Saturday, however, the runner-up did his feature race prospects no harm, either. The filly had won on debut at Ruakaka and then finished runner-up to Bounding in the G3 Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings.
Costa Viva enjoyed a dream run and had the Coupland under control at the furlong before eventually scoring by half a length. “That was her first time under real pressure,” the Te Akau Racing trainer said. “It’s going to bring her on a lot for the Guineas.”
Bridgman is reluctant to split Costa Viva and his other G1 One Thousand Guineas contender Spellbinder who was a six-length winner of the LR Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie last month.
Meanwhile, Chambord (NZ) posted an eye-catching trial for the G1 Two Thousand Guineas. 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.”