Weekend Wrap | February 23/24, 2024

We reflect on a busy weekend of racing, which included plenty of encouraging, albeit frustrating placings alongside a strong winner on Friday night.

Principessa bounced back in good style and collected a well deserved win at Canterbury Park on Friday night for trainer Joe Pride and connections. She was engaged and travelled beautifully throughout the run, displaying a good change up speed out to 1900m on soft footing. After her brave win, Principessa could potentially head to the 1900m Group 3 Epona Stakes on March 23, which would be a first test at Group level for the mare.

Principessa wins at Canterbury Park on Friday night.

Friday night at The Valley saw Amade run a terrific race after blundering the start, finishing third beaten just the 2 lengths. While trainer Phillip Stokes will need to give him another jump-out in front of the stewards, it is all systems go towards March 11 for the Group 2 Adelaide Cup. Watch Friday’s replay here.

Mark Twain finished a great second in NZ after a slightly frustrating watch. The decision to go inside horses was costly in a race that was handed to the leader, however the race should top him off well for the Group 2 Auckland Cup on March 9. Watch Saturday’s replay of Mark Twain here.

At Caulfield, Caracas put in a very encouraging performance finishing 2nd at Group 2 level for the first time. Racing inside horses, he was green but still let down well and was strong to the line. He should take good improvement from the outing. While options are yet to be confirmed, he could head to the Group 2 Alister Clark on March 23, which could give us a guide on whether he continues on to the Sydney or Adelaide Derby.

Caracas finished 2nd in the Group 2 Autumn Classic at Caulfield

Selino ran up to expectations first up and needs more distance. He likely has a similar race over 2000m on March 16 and could then can head towards the Tancred Stakes and the Sydney Cup. Watch Saturday’s replay of Selino here.

Lady Laguna was most unlucky to miss out on the win in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes, but was again brave against a Group 1 winner in Zougotcha. Together, they beat the rest of the field convincingly. Lady Laguna will now be nominated for the G1 Canterbury Stakes over 1300m in 2 weeks and the G1 Coolmore Classic a week later. Annabel wouldn’t rule out running in both, particular if she looked a place chance in the Canterbury Stakes. Watch Saturday’s replay here (Race 7).

The high levels of Group and Listed racing looks set to continue in the weeks ahead!