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Top fields for Waitangi Day at Tauherenikau

RACING

The Mark Walker-trained Belle En Rouge heads a the Clubs NZ Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes, the feature race at the Wairarapa Racing Club’s Waitangi Day meeting at Tauherenikau on Monday.

The four-year-old brings top form into the listed weight-for-age race for fillies and mares to be raced over 1600m. The daughter of Burgundy won the Group Three Anniversary Handicap at Trentham three weeks ago, following a second in the Group Two Rich Hill Mile at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day.

Belle En Rouge will have Opie Bosson and will be at a short price, having opened at $2.20 for the win on the fixed odds.

Walker, New Zealand’s leading trainer, also a good support cast, with Fierce Flight going for his third win in a row in the Happy Hire Wairarapa Cup [2025m], and unraced Fiore Di Campo, the winner of her only trial, lining up the in the Herbert Morton Accountants 2YO Maiden. Both will have Bosson in the saddle.

Wairarapa Racing Club general manager Matthew Sherry is thrilled with the response from trainers, with six of the nine races having capacity fields.

“The Breeders Stakes days the last couple of years, we’ve attracted some really good fields, so having the black type certainly helps, and we have Mark Walker bringing a few down, so trainers are looking at it and saying it’s worth coming to,” Sherry said.

The track was rated soft six on Thursday, and Sherry said that will provide ideal racing conditions with the sting out of it.

Sherry is also hoping for better fortune than last year when a weather bomb saw the meeting abandoned and the Breeders Stakes moved to a midweek meeting at Hastings, with a big crowd expected on course.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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