Future on hold


The rapid improvement of Canterbury filly Samskara has seen her future as a broodmare to be put on hold.

And as much as she might be worth residually in the matron’s paddock, Nigel McGrath is thinking that while the sun is shining, it’s common sense to make some hay with the daughter of Christian Cullen.

The three-year-old filly demolished a handy field of pacers at Rangiora on Sunday, winning by five and half lengths.

That win followed up another at her previous start, so everything is peachy in the camp at the moment.

“She’s flying, absolutely flying,” McGrath said.

“What is probably most pleasing though is that she’s developed a bit of staying ability somewhere along the line, I used to think 2600 metres would be too far for her, but she’s relishing it at the moment.”

Samskara has now won four of her last seven, with two of her three starts in between the two braces of wins coming in Group One, three-year-old fillies features.

And she had no luck in either.

“She got wiped out in one of them and then ran up the back of them in the other,” McGrath said.

“So, when you look at her form over her past half a dozen or so starts, she’s actually been going really good.”

Raced by Paul and Pauline Renwick, Samskara is the first foal of Artsplace mare, Solandra.

With five wins from 17 starts, she’s already a perfect candidate for being a broodmare, but the decision has been made to put the earlier plans of sending her to the breeding barn this year, on hold.

“I talked to Paul after Sunday’s win and we’ve decided we are going to press on with her next season.

“She can have one more start and then head out for a spell before we bring her back up for some of those cup races around Christmas.

“And if she keeps improving then maybe the mares’ races next season might be within reach too.”

Meanwhile, McGrath welcomed back his star performer of the season, Sheriff back to his Weedons stable yesterday afternoon.

The New Zealand Derby winner has had five weeks out after the Harness Jewels and will be given a slow and steady build up towards to the New Zealand Trotting Cup in November.


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