Fleur ready for Counties

Top-class Cambridge mare Fleur de Lune is on track to revert to sprinting at Pukekohe on Saturday.

Fleur de Lune has been freshened since finishing eighth in the Group I NZ Bloodstock Insurance Spring Classic (2040m) at Hastings last month and will take on some smart mares in the $100,000 Group II NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1400m) this weekend.

“She had 10 days off after Hastings then came back in and went on the aqua walker for a while,” said trainer Lee Somervell. “I gave her a gallop between races at Te Rapa and she had a good hitout. She worked over 1200 and ran the last 600 metres in 34.”

Both Somervell and regular rider Jason Jago are pleased with the improvement of Fleur de Lune from the Te Rapa exhibition gallop.

Though Fleur de Lune was beaten five lengths in the Spring Classic, Somervell is still not convinced the mare is solely a sprinter-miler.

“Two things were against her at Hastings —the firming of the track and she was also in season,” he said. “Because of those things I didn’t get a true guide about her running 2000 metres. I’d be happy to try again, but not for now.”

Somervell is considering a tilt at the Gr.1 Railway Handicap at Ellerslie with Fleur de Lune provided she progresses well from Saturday’s race.

“Later on we’ll look at the Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha again,” he said. “She’s had a third, a second and maybe this time she’ll get a win.”