Sheez Dominant (NZ) (Vanbrugh) lived up to her name when beating the boys in the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) earlier this month and trainer Fraser Auret is hoping for a repeat dose this weekend.
The Marton filly will head to Hastings on Saturday to target the Gr.2 AHD Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m), where she will be joined by just one other filly in a strong line-up, Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) winner Best Seller.
Auret was delighted to see Sheez Dominant run out a three-length victor in the Wanganui Guineas on a Heavy10 track, and while she performed with aplomb on the surface, Auret said she is far from a wet tracker.
“It was fantastic (win in the Guineas),” Auret said.
“She is not a true blue wet-track horse by any stretch of the imagination, but she has got a really tidy action and seems to skip through it.
“On Saturday it looks like it will be a tough sort of track which might impede others more than her.”
Now a stakes-winning filly early in her three-year-old campaign, Auret said it has given her connections a bit of breathing room in mapping out her path this spring.
“She has been in a fortuitous situation winning at Wanganui first-up, it has taken a lot of pressure off her preparation,” he said.
“She has taken really good improvement from Wanganui, so we are happy to be having a go, albeit in much stronger company.
“It is about seeing where we line-up against the best of them at this stage and with various options open to them all.”
Like many progressive fillies in the country, Sheez Dominant is nominated for the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November, but she is not assured of a trip south.
“Saturday will give us a really good line on where she fits in. I am mindful that there are a lot of very good options on our back doorstep as well,” he said.
“We have taken nothing off the table at this stage, but we have put nothing on it either. We will let her naturally tell us.”
Sheez Dominant will be Auret’s sole representative at Hastings on Saturday, but his presence is set to be felt more in the coming weeks as his team head out of a long and wet winter.
“It has been such a wet spring and it certainly hasn’t been this wet in Marton in all of our years of training here,” he said.
“We are just like everyone and waiting for the rain to stop falling. We are all in the same boat.
“We had some nice horses go around at the Levin jumpouts yesterday and the Stratford jumpouts this morning, so we are getting closer for sure.”