Key Group One lead-up for Spellbinder

Jason Bridgman has extra incentive to bring about success for talented mare Spellbinder in her Group One leadup race at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The Te Akau Racing trainer will produce the O’Reilly mare in the Race A Horse With Te Akau 1400 and has designs on capturing the race as the Group One performer rounds out her preparation for the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha on April 4.
“Any race is good to win but obviously it’s a race we sponsor and it would be good to see her win,” Bridgman said.
“Sports Illustrated is the one to beat as a Group winner at the course and distance but in our favour is a good pull in the weights. We get 4kg off her and if we get a bit of rain that would help her too.
“We had looked at running last week but we just felt an extra week would be better for her and that means it’s three weeks into the Breeders’ Stakes.”
Spellbinder, who could back up in the Gr.1 Easter Handicap at Ellerslie a week after the Breeders’ Stakes, resumed with a bold second placing behind Recite at Matamata on February 21, a race run in a track record 1:8.14.
“She would have gone close to breaking the old track record herself in finishing second,” Bridgman said.
“She’s eating well and working well and this is a nice stepping stone race. She never goes a bad race and we expect another bold run.”
Bridgman has withdrawn stablemate Abidewithme from the Te Rapa feature, preferring to have her fresher for the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes after she finished stoutly for fourth to Diademe in last week’s Gr.3 Westbury Classic at Ellerslie.
“A good stiff mile is what she needs and with its long straight Te Aroha should give her her best chance,” Bridgman said.
Bridgman has a strong team in action on Saturday, with Darci’s Dream, Smashing and Vive La Difference running on the undercard at Te Rapa, while No Tricks and Angelica Hall contest stakes races at Trentham. – NZ Racing Desk

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