The prospects of smart Cambridge filly Miss Foxwood being at Ellerslie on Boxing Day for the Gr. 2 $100,000 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m) are looking very slim.
Trainer Roger James admits he may be forced to change plans with Miss Foxwood as a result of her trip to the NZ Cup meeting, at which she finished fourth, four and three-quarter lengths behind Costa Viva, in the Gr. 1 NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas.
“The track was woefully hard down there and it looks as though it could have cost Miss Foxwood a start in the Eight Carat,” said James. “She was so muscle sore after the race. You only had to touch her on the neck, chest or back and she really felt it.
“She was on anti-inflammatories for four days and did look a bit better, but she’s still pretty ordinary.
“She’s still in the paddock at present and I hope to get her back in the stable on Monday. I’ll walk her for a few days and see if she improves. She’d have to improve a lot to have any chance of getting to the Eight Carat.”
Miss Foxwood was the main reason James McDonald made the trip from Sydney to Riccarton after being impressed when riding her for the first time in the Gr. 3 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa on October 28. Miss Foxwood finished third behind Bounding and Spellbinder in the 1400-metre event.
Stablemate Full Of Spirit, who also made the trip south, is spelling after her fifth behind Scapolo in the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile.
“She’s having three months off and will then get ready for an autumn preparation,” said James. “We’ll look at races like the Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha and maybe the Easter Handicap.”
James has a strong squad entered for Ellerslie on Saturday, including Hera and Lady Cumquat in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial and The Tidy Express, who is an acceptor in both the Gr. 3 Eagle Technology Stakes and the Auckland Co-op Taxis Mile, a Rating 75 event.
“There is actually a perfect race for her at Otaki on Friday, but she has never been a good traveller,” said James.”I haven’t yet decided which one to run her in at Ellerslie. I might chance my arm and run her in the Group Three race.
“Being a mare, getting black-type is important. She is good enough to get some black-type some time and maybe she could get it on Saturday.”
Danielle Johnson has been engaged to ride The Tidy Express in the feature, while apprentice jockey Bridget Grylls will take the mount if she runs in the lesser-class event.
- The Informant