Black type missions for in-form stable

In-form Cambridge trainer Don Sellwood will be chasing black type at the Auckland Cup carnival with two of his very talented gallopers.

Sellwood added to a fine strike rate with his small team when King’s Fortune returned to top form with a win in the Richardson Racing Stable 1400 at Matamata last Saturday. The win took the stable to seven successes from 37 starts this season.

“We’re doing all right considering we’re only working nine horses,” said Sellwood in his humble manner. “It’s a good time of year for the horses. They’re feeling good and thriving.”

Petty Cury and Pussy O’Reilly have been the two main contributors to the season tally with five wins, Petty Cury having been unbeaten in her three appearances this campaign and Pussy O’Reilly picking up two wins and a second from her last three runs.

Petty Curry will be nominated for the Group III $100,000 Darley Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday and Pussy O’Reilly will be entered for a 1600-metre event.

“I’ll also nominate both of them for the Westbury Classic on the second day and weigh everything up,” said Sellwood. “At this stage it’s likely Petty Cury will run in the Darley and maybe Pussy O’Reilly in the Westbury Classic.”

Petty Cury has won five of her eight starts and only once been out of the money, when ninth in last year’s Westbury Classic at the end of her campaign.

“I was impressed with the way she dealt to them last start and she’s done well since,” said Sellwood. “I’ll just take her along quietly and while she’s sprinting well I’ll keep her to the sprints.”

Pussy O’Reilly won over 1400 metres last start and Sellwood is considering the Group I Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha on April 6 as a possible major mission.

“If she can pick up another couple we could have a go at the Breeders with her,” said Sellwood. “She’s going well.”

Sellwood is also pleased with the condition of Valedictory, who created a huge impression with a runaway win on debut at Te Rapa before finishing fifth at Ellerslie after losing ground at the start.

“We had him checked over after his last run and everything is fine,” said Sellwood. “He’s come through the race with no problems and he’ll run at Te Rapa in about three weeks.”

As for King’s Fortune, the stable’s latest winner this season, he will be just taken through the grades.

The King’s Chapel four-year-old has had five starts this campaign and after a fresh-up second he failed to pay a dividend in his next three starts before a good ride by Mark Du Plessis saw him score nicely last Saturday.

“That second first-up might have taken the edge off him a bit, but then he did strike a wet track second-up,” said Sellwood. “It’s good to see him back to form.”