Veyron back on favourite track

Cambridge trainer Linda Laing is looking forward to Veyron’s reappearance at Ellerslie on Saturday.

Veyron provided Laing with her career highlight when he won the Group I Land Pride Easter Handicap at Ellerslie last April and he has had only one race since, that being when he resumed over 1200 metres at Te Rapa on November 5 in the Listed Timpson Family Trust Sprint, in which he finished an encouraging fourth to Baby Guinness.

“He’s back on his favourite track on Saturday,” said Laing, referring to the fact that six of Veyron’s eight wins have been recorded at Ellerslie. He won a hat trick on the course 12 months ago when working through the grades.

Veyron’s mission at Ellerslie on Saturday is the Group III $70,000 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m), in which he will carry the topweight of 58kg.

Though beaten at Te Rapa, Laing was pleased with Veyron’s performance to finish a length and a half from the winner. “Rogan (Norvall) said he slipped behind on the turn. The track was a bit greasy and he didn’t really like it,” said Laing.

Norvall has been Veyron’s regular rider and has been aboard the horse in all of his trials and all bar one of his 14 raceday outings. Veyron was ridden by Andrew Calder when he won on debut at Te Aroha in October 29 as Norvall, who had won three trials on him, wasn’t available.

Laing plans to give Veyron a few days off after Saturday’s Ellerslie event and assess the next steps for the son of Thorn Park.

“He’s nominated for the Railway and Telegraph Handicaps, but nothing is certain yet,” said Laing. “I’ll just see what he does on Saturday and go from there. It’s not going to be easy in this one, especially with the big advantage the fillies and mares are getting now.”

One of the fairer sex in the field is the Cambridge mare Lady Chaparral, trained by Chris Wood. She caused an upset last start when charging home to beat the hot favourite Mufhasa in the Group III Stella Artois Tauranga Stakes at Tauranga. Under the new weight conditions Lady Chaparral will carry just 54kgs.

Lady Chaparral has pleased Wood with her work since her Tauranga win and he has opted to concentrate on Saturday’s race instead of the previous plan of a tilt at the Group I Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham.

With last start rider Danielle Johnson suspended the ride on Lady Chaparral has gone to the leading rider Matt Cameron.