Kisses for Riccarton

Cambridge filly Kisses booked a trip south with her win in the Marks Ewen & Associates 3YO at Rotorua yesterday.

The stakes-placed daughter of Iffraaj capped four placings from five starts when proving a class above her rivals in the 1400-metre event. Ridden by Trudy Thornton, she settled handy in the seven-horse field and loomed up nearing the home turn before clearing out to score by six lengths.

It was as much a relief as a thrill for her trainers, Mark Fraser-Campin and Chris Campin, to see the talented filly break through for her first win.

“This win will have given her a lot of confidence,” said Mark Fraser-Campin. “We know she’s got the ability and we just wanted to get a win with her. She can go down to Riccarton for a stakes race.”

The Riccarton mission is the Listed $50,000 NZ Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes on April 6 and it will be an opportunity to see if Kisses can stretch to handling 1600 metres.

Kisses showed ability from the outset, winning her two trials before running third to the recently sold Buckland Boy on debut at Ruakaka. Two starts later, after a second at Ruakaka, she lined up in the Listed Fordell O’Leary Fillies Stakes at Wanganui and was beaten a mere nose by the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Twilight Granita.

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

Fresh-up this campaign, Kisses finished a close second at Otaki to Eveready, who is owned and prepared by her trainers’ father, Jim Campin.

“She hadn’t trialled before her first-up run and we knew she would need the run,” said Campin. “But she’s done well since and now we can have another go at a stakes race.”