Silhouette ready to shine again

Silhouette Noir (Trudy Thornton) beating Bonniegirl at Te Rapa.

Silhouette Noir (Trudy Thornton) beating Bonniegirl at Te Rapa.

Silhouette Noir will warm up for her tilt at securing a first black-type win with an impromptu performance at Te Rapa tomorrow.

The former Canterbury mare wasn’t among the original nominations for the SkyCity Hamilton 1400, but Cambridge trainer Lee Somervell didn’t need much convincing from jockey Trudy Thornton to include her in the entries.

The Te Rapa race will serve to sharpen the Dane Shadow five-year-old mare for her early winter target of the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic on June 25.

“I was going to wait until Tauranga for the fillies and mares’ race there as her next race, but I was at the trials on Tuesday and Trudy said this Te Rapa race was ready-made for her,” said Somervell.

“It’s left-handed over 1400, which suits, and she won at Te Rapa last time she raced there so we’ve put in a late nomination and we think she’ll go well. She appears to be well placed.”

Raced by renowned Christchurch beauty therapy entrepreneur Anne Marie de Spa and her husband, Charles Hall, Silhouette Noir transferred from Riccarton trainer Terri Rae to Somervell earlier this season to take advantage of more black-type opportunities in the north.

Three-times stakes-placed as a three-year-old filly, Silhouette Noir has now won six of her 27 starts, though she has yet to take to right-handed racing to Somervell’s satisfaction which is a concern ahead of her upcoming Tauranga assignment.

“She’s still got a bit to learn about right-handed racing,” said Somervell. “She was travelling well coming to the turn at Ellerslie the other day and she took a bump, which should have been of minimal hindrance to a mare of her experience, but she lost four lengths.

“She’s certainly got the ability and she’s a pleasure to have in the stable but she’s such a long-striding mare and she’s done all her racing left-handed up to now.

“It’s just taking time to learn the right-handed way of racing but she will get it. It’s just a shame there’s not more left-handed black-type opportunities up here for her.”

Somervell indicated there were no plans to change Silhouette Noir’s get-back-and-sprint-home style of racing despite the small field of six for the open sprint tomorrow.

“She’s best held up for a run,” said Somervell. “Trudy will just let her drift back and then save her for that last run at them. She’s very well for this race.”

– NZ Racing Desk