A stakes-winning mare helped trans-Tasman trainer John Sargent off the mark in Sydney last weekend and another will be out to try to keep the ball rolling at Rosehill on Saturday.
Group Three winner Fromelles will step up in distance in the November Topaz (1900m) in a race which will provide a stepping stone into the staying features in Sydney this summer.
Sargent opened a satellite stable in Sydney in August and Holy Moly’s narrow victory at Warwick Farm on Saturday was the premier New Zealand trainer’s first city winner out of the new base.
Fromelles has had two starts this campaign in stakes company – the Angst Stakes (1400m) and Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) – and despite finishing last and second last, Sargent’s Sydney stable foreman Andrew Carston has been encouraged by the performances.
“I thought both her runs have been full of merit,” Carston said.
“She’s been beaten five lengths both times but has been finishing her race off as we would have expected her to.
“She’s up to 1900 metres on Saturday and I didn’t think the nominations looked overly strong, so I would expect her to run a better race.”
Carston said the plan was for Fromelles, winner of the Group Three Rotorua Cup (2200m) in May, to progress through the summer staying races.
The Listed Frank Underwood Cup (2200m) is on December 1 followed by the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) two weeks later and the Group Three Summer Cup (2400m) is on Boxing Day.
“She was just warming up at the finish of the Hawkesbury Cup and was strong through the line,” Carston said.
“It was the same first-up in the Angst Stakes. Josh Parr rode her that day (over 1400m) and came back in and said he’d love to ride the same mare against the same horses over 2000 metres.”
Parr and Fromelles’s last-start rider Jason Collett are suspended for Saturday’s meeting with Nathan Berry to partner the six-year-old.
The Rosehill card also features the November Flying (1200m) with last-start Rosehill winner Welkom Gold topweight with 59kg ahead of the Chris Waller-trained Tromso on 58kg.