Vi­adana takes on Mel­bourne

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Repli­ca­tion of her fan­tas­tic 2013-14 sea­son is a tall or­der but lately-crowned Mata­mata Horse of the Year Vi­adana is all set to em­bark on that path.

By the time you read this Vi­adana will be in Mel­bourne, sched­uled to start this Satur­day in the Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington. All go­ing to plan she will back at the same track on the open­ing day of Mel­bourne Cup week for her main tar­get, the Gr 1 Myer Clas­sic.

Last sea­son Vi­adana took her stake-earn­ings past $700,000 with four wins from nine starts headed by the Group One dou­ble of the NRM Sprint and Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thor­ough­bred Breed­ers’ Stakes.

Her only start across the Tas­man was also her last ap­pear­ance in that cam­paign, with her close and un­lucky fifth in the Gr 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes at Rand­wick on Easter Satur­day suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence that she could mea­sure up to the best Aus­tralian race mares.

Vi­adana’s 7-year-old sea­son be­gan with an un­placed run in the Foxbridge Plate on Au­gust 15 and she was kept up to the mark with a trial out­ing at Avon­dale last week.

‘‘We orig­i­nally had her in the Makfi Stakes at Hast­ings but I wasn’t keen on back­ing her up so quickly from the Foxbridge,’’ trainer Lance Noble said.

‘‘The trial fit­ted bet­ter with our plan to kick off her Mel­bourne cam­paign in the Let’s Elope and I was happy with her sec­ond plac­ing.

‘‘It was only a trial and she wasn’t knocked around. She’s thriv­ing like she never has be­fore and she’s still got a bit up her sleeve fit­ness-wise, but she should be good for the 1400m on Noble had planned to send his other open class gal­loper Brave Cen­taur to Syd­ney but the con­tin­u­ing wet New South Wales weather meant a change of plans and he will now ac­com­pany Vi­adana to Mel­bourne and run in a Listed 1400m race on Satur­day.

The Mel­bourne car­ni­val may also now be on the cards for the Ken and Bev Kelso-trained Fix after she bounced back to form with an im­pres­sive win at Whanganui on Satur­day.

After a stel­lar 3-year-old cam­paign when she claimed the New Zealand Blood­stock Filly of the Year ti­tle, lit­tle went right for Fix last sea­son but her fresh-up ef­fort on the week­end now has con­nec­tions think­ing of Mel­bourne.

The Kelso-trained, Gary Harding-owned Bound­ing is al­ready ear­marked for the Vic­to­rian spring car­ni­val, with fi­nal con­fir­ma­tion hing­ing on her sea­son opener at Hast­ings on Satur­day week.

Photo: TR­ISH DUNELL

SPRING CAM­PAIGN: Mata­mata Horse of the Year Vi­adana be­gins her Mel­bourne spring cam­paign at Flemington on Satur­day.

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