Kiwi filly chasing Classic success in Sydney

Roydon Bergerson has no doubt that his filly Savaria can be more than a match for her Aussie rivals in Saturday’s Gr.1 $A1 million Australian Oaks.

The Palmerston North trainer takes confidence from Savaria’s last-start win in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks over the same 2400m trip and the times the Savabeel three-year-old has run in winning her last two.

He noted her closing sectionals to win the Oaks were quicker than Vespa’s splits in winning the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas the same day.

“When she dead-heated the Lowland Stakes at Hastings, she ran home her last 600m in 33.2 seconds and if she can reel off those sort of sectionals this weekend, they will have to be pretty good to beat her,” Bergerson said.

“Sure, I’d love to win but we’re taking on some pretty good ones and it’s not going to be easy. But she’s the only one who has won past 2000m and her sectionals have been as good as any of them over here and we’re happy with her.”

Both Bergerson and Savaria flew to Sydney on Wednesday night and though she left half of her first meal, the filly has pleased her trainer with the way she has settled in to her new surrounds.

“She travelled well and she was bright as a button this morning,” Bergerson said on Thursday.

“James [McDonald, jockey] came and rode her this morning and he was pretty happy with her. She just had a quiet trot and canter but James was pleased with what he saw.

“We’d done a lot of work with her before she flew over. It’s a long way to come so we had to be happy with her. Probably her work leading into this one is even better than it was going into the Oaks at home. Hayden [Tinsley, her New Zealand Oaks-winning rider] said she was working better than she was before the Oaks.”

Bergerson’s only concern is the prospect of a heavy track, though he was satisfied with Savaria’s wide barrier draw of 12.

“We’re used to that. She drew one in the Oaks at home but every other start she’s had, she’s drawn either the outside or one off the outside. The track might be off on the inside so that draw might be an advantage. Getting three back with cover would be ideal,” he said.

Savaria isn’t Bergerson’s first foray into Australia, having produced Gr.2 Wellington Guineas winner Marrok to finish fourth in the Gr.3 Chairman’s Handicap at Doomben in 2001, while Havoc was unplaced in four runs in a Sydney campaign three years later.

Back home, Bergerson has Denlee and Irish Whisper in action at Awapuni on Friday and Postboy and Figurace racing at Trentham. – NZ Racing Desk.

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