Promise To Reign seeks overdue win in Trentham Stakes Thu, 12 Jan 2017
Promise To Reign has only a maiden three-year-old win from this time last year to her credit, but that record belies her standing among the leading gallopers in the country.
The Moira and Kieran Murdoch-trained mare tackles Saturday's Gr. 3 Mills Reef Winery Trentham Stakes from the 53-kilogram minimum and looks a strong contender after her fast-finishing fifth in the Gr. 1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day last start.
"It was a super run," Moira Murdoch said. "She lost a bit of ground right on the peak of the corner, but she still had the fastest last 800 metres of the race. She just missed out on a Group One placing. She had her running line taken late too by Saint Emilion, who was hampered in the concluding stages."
Last season Promise To Reign ran second placings in the Gr. 2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic at Te Rapa and Gr. 3 Sunline Vase at Ellerslie leading in to her fifth placing in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Oaks at Trentham.
This season she has proven competitive in several strong races, finishing fifth in the Gr. 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa before the Zabeel Classic.
"We've just got to chase that Group form for her," Murdoch said. "The light weight is a big plus. There's some pretty hardened, seasoned geezers in that field, so meeting them on 53 kilos helps. She ran well in the Oaks last season at Trentham and she appreciates the long straight and roomy track."
Raced by Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Promise To Reign holds a nomination for the Gr. 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa on February 11 but needs to earn a start with a bold run on Saturday.