Fillies hold the key for Otaki trainers

Otaki trainers Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard have plenty to look forward to this season with a trio of promising three-year-old fillies.

Hold the Press (Press Statement) and Key (Exceed and Excel) both won on debut at their home track on Thursday and their trainers think both fillies have a bright future.

“They were both very good,” Benner said. “They are fillies with a nice future. They have nice pedigrees and tick a lot of boxes.”

Hold The Press began like a bullet from barrier seven in the Aquashield Roofing Maiden (1100m) and quickly found the lead for in-form hoop Danielle Johnson.

She held her advantage heading into the straight and then showed her ability when distancing her rivals to win by 3-1/2 lengths.

“Hold The Press possesses a lot of tactical pace which will hold her in good stead for her career,” Benner said.

“She is very nifty from the barrier and very quick to jump into the bridle and get into a spot, which makes the jockey’s job a lot easier.

“She was very impressive. She quickened up and it was very comfortable in the end.”

While Key was just as impressive in the Gardner Homes Maiden (1200m), winning by three lengths, Benner said she is still a work in progress with subpar racing manners.

The Exceed and Excel granddaughter of four-time Group One winner Princess Coup held up the start after getting loose behind the barriers.

“She was also impressive, but she has got her issues,” Benner said. “She can be a bit naughty, but it is something we are working on.

“It was good for her to get that one under her belt. We know how good she is, we have just got to get the mental side of things right.”

Benner has now turned his attention towards Hastings on Saturday where fellow three-year-old filly Bonham (Per Incanto) will be looking to book her ticket south for the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton next month.

The daughter of Per Incanto won by three lengths on debut at Woodville and her trainers are hoping for a repeat performance in the NZB RTR Trainers Series 3YO 1300.

“She is a very good filly,” Benner said. “Her maiden win was very good and hopefully she can take that next step, we are sure she will.

“If she does that we can press on to bigger things, the 1000 Guineas is the obvious target.

“If she can get the job done on Saturday she has got a month to the Guineas and that will be our plan.”

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