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Te Rapa races, Saturday, April 28, 2018

Iain Hyndman’s Te Rapa Tips
1: Trisha Lea, Princess El Jay, Aigne
2: Volpe Veloce, Love Affair, Elusive Treasure
3: Star Performance, Qiji Express, Zaniah
4: Not Usual Talent, Giant Gem, Executive Power
5: Thee Auld Floozie, Lovelight, Our Abbadean
6: Bevan Street, Legramor, Fortune Patch
7: Hanger, The Ice Knight, Astor
8: Aileen Grace, Santiago, Rosewood
Best Bet: Star Performance (R3)

A huge run for third at Awapuni last start has put the promising The Ice Knight in contention for the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

After back-to-back wins at Avondale, The Ice Knight finished less than a neck from Ozil over 1200 metres at the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes meeting.

“It was a huge effort as the set weights and penalties conditions didn’t suit him,” trainer Nigel Tiley said.

“He’ll run in the Cambridge Breeders’ then we’ll decide what to do. I could take him to Brisbane if he goes well at Te Rapa. He’s proved he’s got the family ability.”

The Ice Knight is a three-year-old brother to Tiley’s top two-year-old Melt, who created a massive impression when winning her first two starts before finishing sixth in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).

However, the stakes promises to be a hot three-year-old feature judging by a dress rehearsal at Te Rapa a fortnight ago.

Malambo narrowly prevailed in the Seafood Bazaar 3YO (1200m) ahead of dead-heaters Merlini and Paulownia with Sistabeel and Prom Queen next to finish.

Less than a length separated the top five and they are all to do battle again on Saturday.

Trained by Team Rogerson, Malambo has now won three times on the course and the daughter of Duelled capitalised on a cosy run behind the speed for her latest success.

“It was a tidy field of lovely three-year-olds and she was able to sit behind the pace and come over the top of them, it was a good ride,” stable representative Garry Barlow said.
Malambo, who had finished fifth in a competitive age group at Awapuni in her lead-up outing, finished strongly in the closing 150m to claim major honours.

“We got a nice trail behind Prom Queen, which suited me down to the ground, and she got the job done,” successful rider Ryan Elliot said.

“She’s really come up well this preparation, she’s a lot stronger now.”

Merlini made the pace and he kicked on gallantly to share second with the last-start Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) runner-up Paulownia, who hit the line well.

Sistabeel came from last for fourth and Prom Queen gave a good sight to finish fifth in her first appearance since December.

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