Already Group One performed in Australia, Alamosa mare House of Cartier will be out to add an elite-level victory to her resume in her next two starts.
The six-year-old mare is flying at the moment, having won two of her last three races, including the Gr.3 Metric Mile (1600m) and Listed Feilding Gold Cup (2100m).
Trainer Peter Didham said the Gr.1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) placegetter has enjoyed a quick freshen-up since her last start victory in the Feilding Gold Cup and is being targeted towards the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
“She had a week off after the Feilding Cup, out at the farm, and put on 20 kilos,” Didham said.
While the Zabeel Classic remains her key target of the summer, Didham is looking forward to giving her a lead-in run in the Gr.1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.
“She is starting to get wound up again now, her target is really the Zabeel Classic but we will always have a crack at a Group One mile for good stake money,” he said.
“It is a very strong and even field. It is probably the strongest Captain Cook that we have had in a few years, which is good.
“I think she will go a really good race.”
Didham will also be vying for more stakes success when juvenile filly Kana (NZ) (Tivaci) makes her debut in the Gr.2 Pete’s Joinery Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) after three trial victories.
“She is a beautiful filly by Tivaci,” Didham said. “She is 16 hands and is a good-looking filly.
“She will probably be better suited next year. But you have got a Group race worth $100,000 on our backdoor step, we are always going to have a go.
Didham will round out the meeting with two other chances, St Nancy (NZ) (Road To Rock) in the Concept Security Premier (1400m) and Bobby Dee (NZ) (Zed) in the Superloo Premier (1600m).
“St Nancy has gone two really good races in two quality Saturday meetings,” Didham said. “I am just dropping her back in distance and a shower of rain will help her.
“Over 1400m, she will get back and run on strong.
“Bobby Dee is probably one more run away. We are working a bit of size off him. I haven’t had him long and he has come in quite big.
“He will run on the pace and next start is the one to be start following him.”