The new season starts for Roger James this weekend.
The Cambridge trainer, who won five black-type races last term, has had just four runners over the first seven weeks of the season. By contrast, premiership leader Kevin Myers has had 121 runners over the same period.
However, the action is intensifying for James. The stable has had 20 trials runners over the past 10 days and will have eight runners spread over Taupo and Hastings this weekend.
The team at Taupo tomorrow is headed by the stakes winners Tavy and Avisto, who resume in the $20,000 Leicester-Lowry 50th Anniversary Cup, a race that has drawn an exceptional field for a Rating 75 event.
Tavy has an outside barrier, but James regards the Tavistock four-year-old as the more forward of his pair.
“She’s a good mare and has had a couple of exhibition gallops but she does have an awkward draw for around Taupo,” James said. “She will probably be ridden conservatively from the draw, and that could cost her, but she’s capable of running a big race.”
Tavy won the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial at Ellerslie last spring and ran third in the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic. She last raced when she came from the back of the field to run second to Shees Flawless in the Gr. 3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes at Te Rapa on Anzac Day.
Both Tavy and Avisto are being aimed at the Gr. 3 Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes at Hawera next month, along with stablemate Miss Foxwood, who resumes at Hastings on Saturday.
“Avisto will derive a bit of improvement from the run at Taupo, but she should get a better trip than the other mare,” James said.
Stablemate Bhiwani resumes in another Rating 75 over 1300 metres at Taupo and James’ other runners will be Cool Tart, a three-quarter sister to Melbourne Cup winner Efficient, and Never In Doubt, who will be rivals in a maiden.
“Bhiwani has been a late-maturing mare and is capable of running a race first-up.”
City Of Auckland Cup winner Delago’s Secret resumes in the Windsor Park Plate at Hastings and has been working well.
- The Informant