Kisses successful in South

A decision to head south with Cambridge filly Kisses paid off big time at Riccarton today.

After the Ifraaj filly cleared maiden ranks at Rotorua on March 18, trainers Mark Fraser-Campin and Chris Campin opted for a tilt at the Listed 50,000 NZ Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes (1600m) and the reward was a decisive win.

Ridden by Darryl Bradley, Kisses settled on the pace and kicked on strongly over the final stages to score by a length and three-quarters from another Cambridge filly, Adolay, who ran on well to shade If I Can I Can and Marmi, who deadheated for third.

It was Kisses third stakes attempt and right from the outset she showed she was up to the class. In her third raceday appearance she was a nose second in the Listed Fordell O’Leary Stakes at Wanganui and the winner on that occasion was Twilight Granita, who chased Xanadu home when second in today’s Group I Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha.

Kisses failed in her other stakes bid last campaign when 11th in the Listed McLeans Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie. “She had enough by then and needed a break,” said Fraser-Campin.

Kisses has had three starts this campaign and each outing has resulted in improvement. According to Fraser-Campin, she just needed to gain in confidence and that has certainly happened.

The way Kisses mastered the 1600 metres opens the options for the promising filly. Her connections must now decide whether to tackle the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes at Riccarton on April 20 or head to the Queensland Winter Carnival.

Kisses win capped a successful week for the Campin family’s Chequers Stud as last Sunday morning they cheered home Lines Of Battle to win the Group II UAE Derby at the Dubai World Cup meeting at Meyden. Lines Of Battle is a half-brother to Battle Paint, who stands at Chequers Stud.