Roxburgh mare Royal Impression will take on an in-form
Here We Go Again at Winton tomorrow.
The 4yr-old daughter of Christian Cullen was not quite at her
peak at Ascot Park on December 7, going down to stablemate
Sonia Ellen, but co-trainer Geoff Knight said she had
''It might have looked slightly average, but she had a slight
respiratory problem which we have treated and she has come
through that well,'' he said.
Royal Impression accepted in two races at the Wairio club's
meeting at Winton but the first foal of Invigorate (by
Artsplace) will line up in the 1-2 win mobile for mares. The
presence of the well-handi-capped Here We Go Again (five
lifetime wins), who broke the 2200m mares' track record at
Forbury Park last start, provides Royal Impression with a
sterner test than her last run for third behind Sonia Ellen.
However, the preferential barrier draw system gives driver
Matthew Williamson options out of the gate from barrier three
as Here We Go Again (barrier 10) will follow out Robyn's
Christian (barrier two) from the second line.
The task is slightly harder for Crown Royal, who starts off
20m in a 1-2 win special handicap pace. Her hopes have been
after drawing on the inside of the 20m mark, with four horses
on her outside.
''It's quite a nice field so she's probably a place chance.''
Knight and his wife, Jude, have a two-pronged attack on a
1-win mobile pace with De Bon Vouloir (drawn two) and Harmony
Rule (drawn six). Harmony Rule was a last-start winner at
Gore on December 4, while De Bon Vouloir was fifth behind
Call Of Duty, although the fourth placegetter in that race,
Ultra Shok, went on to win at Ascot Park on Tuesday
There is an air of excitement around the Knight stable as
Pembrook's Delight eyes a return to racing. The 5yr-old
Bettor's Delight mare had a break after her 4yr-old diamond
division win at the Harness Jewels, and she warmed up for her
season debut at Winton on December 29 with a sizzling win at
the Roxburgh trials yesterday. She ran 2.41.0 for the 2200m
(mobile), which Knight thought was about 3sec inside the
Roxburgh track record, with her last 800m in 56.5 and her
last 400m in 27.1
- Matt Smith