Pre-race hype off Fleur de Lune

Cambridge mare Fleur de Lune has been let slip by punters in the leadup to the Group I Windsor Park Stud Plate at Hastings on Saturday.

It is a complete contrast for the multiple Group One placegetter who went into the Group I Makfi Challenge Stakes, the first leg of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown, as one of the leading hopes after a fresh-up win in the Group III Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa earlier in the month.

“She’s been allowed to creep under the radar for this one,” said trainer Lee Somervell, referring to the TAB’s Fixed Odds of $16. “She’s not under the same pressure as before the Makfi and I’m happy about that. I don’t mind her being the forgotten horse.”

Fleur de Lune, ridden by regular jockey Jason Jago, finished eighth, just over three lengths from the winner, Ocean Park, in the Makfi Challenge Stakes.

“After studying the video of the race a few times you realise it wasn’t a bad run,” said Somervell. “She lost her momentum in the run in, just as some of the others did, and you can’t afford to have that happen. You’ve got to have everything go right in these types of races.”

Somervell says Fleur de Lune came through the Makfi with flying colours. “I’m delighted with her,” he said. “She’s had time out at Russell and Robyn Rogers’ aqua walker and she’s thrived. She’ll be very competitive on Saturday.”

Fleur de Lune holds a nomination for the Group I $300,000 NZ Bloodstock Insurance Spring Classic, the final leg of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown, at Hastings on October 6. “I’d love to try her in it,” said Somervell. “I’d like to see how she goes over 2040 metres.”

Fleur de Lune’s half-brother Kapsboy will resume at Pukekohe tomorrow, clashing with stablemate Addictive Habit in the Funtime Foods 1200. The Somervell-trained pair also chased in the Ryder Stakes when finishing second (Addictive Habit) and third (Kapsboy) behind Move Faster.