Stable chasing black-type in both Islands

While most eyes will be on Chintz at Te Aroha on Saturday her Cambridge stablemate Sancerre will be under even more pressure when she starts at Riccarton.

Chintz promises to be a top prospect in the Gr. 1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes when she has a rematch with Viadana, her last-start conqueror in the Gr. 2 Windsor Park Stud Japan NZ International Trophy at Tauranga.

“She came through the race well and had a quiet week last week and is due to gallop tomorrow morning,” said co-trainer Tony Pike. “She’s flying at the moment and if she goes well on Saturday she could back up in the Easter (Handicap). I’ve got no worries about her backing up. She did it when she won the Rich Hill Mile.”

The Pike – Mark Donoghue stable will also be represented at Te Aroha by Absolutely Sacred, while Sancerre will command plenty of interest when she competes in the Listed $50,000 NZ Bloodstock Air Freight Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.

Sancerre won on debut at Avondale and was held up at a vital stage when second to Beauty’s Beast at Tauranga last Saturday week.

A daughter of O’Reilly, Sancerre is from Vouvray, who finished third in the 2004 Listed Warstep Stakes at Riccarton before heading to Brisbane, where she won the Gr. 1 Queensland Oaks. That Riccarton – Brisbane path is also the plan for Sancerre.

“We’re keen to take her to Brisbane but she needs to win the right races to get in over there,” said Pike. “If she wins on Saturday she’ll be all right. There are three races over there we’re looking at and the last one is the Queensland Oaks.”

Sancerre’s three public appearances have been over 800 metres (when winning a Cambridge trial last February), 1200 (at Avondale) and 1300 (at Tauranga) and with her breeding she should be even better suited over more ground.

Rock Diva, a last-start third placegetter in the Gr. 1 Wellfield NZ Oaks, has also been penciled-in for Queensland and a tilt at the Gr. 1 Queensland Oaks.

“She had two weeks off after the Oaks and has come back into work today,” said Pike. “The intention is to get her ready for the Queensland Oaks.”

Sacred Star and Allez Eagle are also possible travelers to Queensland. Sacred Star has been freshened since back-to-back Group One placings in the Harcourts Thorndon Mile (third) and the NRM Sprint (second).

“Sacred Star will be nominated for the Stradbroke Handicap but more than likely he will run at the latter part of the carnival,” said Pike. “It’s really a good opportunity to get him out of the New Zealand winter.”

Allez Eagle will contest the three-year-old races up to 1600 metres in Queensland if he comes up well.