Filly ready to glam it up in Melbourne

Filly ready to glam it up in Melbourne16 Feb 2020

Letzbeglam could this weekend kick off a successful four-week Group One attack by Cambridge Stud.

On Saturday when Vernazza, another filly owned by the farm, will spearhead the homefront team with a tilt at the Gr.2 J. Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes (1200m), Brendan and Jo will be in Melbourne cheering on Letzbeglam in the Gr.1 Neds Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.

A week later they will be in Sydney watching dual Karaka Million winner Probabeel resume her Australian three-year-old season in the Gr.1 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, then attention will swing back to New Zealand the following week with Vernazza and Taroni hopefuls for the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.

And to cap it all off a week later Meghan is an intended starter in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.

“To think we could have horses running in Group One races for the next four weeks,” Brendan said. “It’s pretty exciting stuff.”

Letzbeglam, a daughter of Snitzel who hails from a black type American family, was bought under the Cambridge Stud banner from the 2019 Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $A280,000.

Letzbeglam will be shooting for the first prizemoney of $A900,000 on Saturday in the Diamond Stakes and is third favourite behind Hanseatic, an unbeaten son of Street Boss trained by Anthony Freedman.

Letzbeglam is prepared by former Kiwi trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young and is also unbeaten. She won her debut over 1100m at Werribee last month then caused an upset when scoring a strong win in the Gr.2 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for fillies at Caulfield earlier this month.

That Group Two victory elevated Letzbeglam to equal top-rated entry for the $A1.5 million event with Hanseatic, winner of the colts and geldings edition of both the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) and the Gr.3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m), and A Beautiful Night, winner of Gr.3 Blue Diamond Preview Fillies (1000m) and last-start sixth to Letzbeglam.

“When you buy these horses you don’t think of races like this,” Brendan said. “It’s proved to be a fantastic result to even have a runner in the Blue Diamond and she’s got to be a good chance the way she won last start.

“It’s also great to have Trent and Natalie training her for us. To think when I was young I used to back horses trained by Trent’s father (Paddy) and now all these years later Trent is training a Group Two winner for us. Good on them both. They’ve got there the hard way and I couldn’t be happier for them.”

But Busuttin and Young can thank Henry Plumptre, chief executive at Cambridge Stud, for having Letzbeglam in their stable.

Cambridge Stud bought two Snitzel fillies from that 2019 Gold Coast sale and Busuttin immediately took a liking to the other one, a filly from Belle de Coeur, who cost $A350,000.

“Trent loved the Belle de Coeur filly, but she developed an issue with a front joint so she’s home here at Karaka being taken along slowly,” Plumptre said.

“I told Trent we had the other Snitzel (Letzbeglam) and he was happy to take her so it has worked out well.”

While much of the interest will be focussed on Melbourne and Letzbeglam, close tabs will also be kept on Vernazza and the other New Zealand charges.

Vernazza, a More Than Ready filly, followed a debut third at Matamata in December with a win at Ellerslie last month when beating a host of youngsters who went on to contest the Listed Karaka Million 2YO Classic (1200m).

Last Thursday Cambridge Stud's private trainer, Lance Noble, took Vernazza from Karaka to Matamata for a hit-out with stablemate A Proper Lady and both he and rider Leith Innes were very happy with the filly’s work.

But Innes incurred a seven-day suspension at Ellerslie last Saturday and Michael Coleman has picked up the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes ride on Vernazza.

“We’re happy to get Michael and he agreed to come up to ride her in work (on Tuesday morning),” Brendan said. “Lance is happy with her, but the only thing that could stop her on Saturday is that she is still immature.”

Hopes are high Vernazza shows enough to press on for the Sistema Stakes a fortnight later. Likewise, excitement is growing around Probabeel following the way she shaped up when finishing on strongly for fifth in a Group and Listed heat over 1000m at Randwick on Monday.

And when Probabeel lines up in the Surround Stakes on Saturday week, Cambridge Stud will have a strong contingent in action on New Zealand Derby day at Ellerslie.

As well as possibly Vernazza and Taroni, a winner and last-start Karaka Million 2YO Classic third placegetter, in the Sistema Stakes, representation will also include Pretty To Sea (Gr.3 King’s Plate, 1200m), Avadane and Familia (Listed Mufhasa Fasttrack Stakes, 1300m), Meghan (Gr.3 McKee Family Sunline Vase, 2100m) and Dance Card (Nathans Memorial,2200m).

Cambridge Stud also have horses in work with 16 trainers in New South Wales and Victoria and are aiming at an Oaks bid in South Australia with Under My Spell, a Pierro filly who has won her only start for Ballarat trainer Nigel Blackiston. - NZ Racing Desk