Royal wait for weather

Mark Forbes2Classic contender Royal Fashion’s seasonal debut will depend on the weather with Mark Forbes eyeing two possible venues for her return.

“I’ll have to see what the tracks are going to be like with the possibilities of either going to Te Rapa on Friday for the three-year-old race or going to Avondale the following week,”said the Cambridge trainer (pictured).

A half-sister by Snitzel to the Australian Group Two winner Alpine Eagle, Royal Fashion showed an early glimpse of the family ability last season when she ran third at the first time of asking at Te Rapa.

She then headed south to Trentham where she finished runner-up, beating all but the subsequent Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Luna Rossa before she was turned out.

“She’s definitely lengthened and grown with a break,” said Forbes. “She’s quite a heavy filly. She’s just a powerhouse now.”

Royal Fashion’s ultimate aim is the Gr.1 gavelhouse.com NZ 1000 Guineas at Riccarton and a recent trial win showed she was making good early progress.

“She hated the ground, but she won nicely and she’s very well in herself,” said Forbes.

Stablemate Ronda also stretched her legs at the trials, but she won’t be following her stablemate to the southern feature.

“We’re not putting the pressure on her and she’ll probably have another trial and she won’t be kicking off until the end of October,” said Forbes.

The O’Reilly filly was an easy winner in her first appearance at Otaki last season before unplaced runs in the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes and the Karaka Million, after which she had surgery to remove bone chips.

– NZ Racing Desk.