Travelling Light travelling fast, too

North Island trainer Ben Foote could follow a familiar script if his unbeaten filly Travelling Light can win tomorrow's One Thousand Guineas at Riccarton.

Foote follows a similar path to the New Zealand Cup Carnival as fellow northern trainer Daniel Miller, who starred at Riccarton on Wednesday by producing Sheezallmine to win the Stewards Handicap.

Like Miller, Foote is an ex-jumps jockey turned trainer, who only has a small team of racehorses.

"I consider myself a pre-trainer really now - it is how I make a living in the main, so to have a horse like this for a really good friend of mine in Coll MacRury is pretty special," Foote told NZ Racing Desk.

"He wouldn't give it to anyone else to train, which is the only reason why I am training her.

"I generally only like to have a couple of horses that I am taking through to the races, so to have a horse of her calibre and in a race like this is a pretty big deal to me."

The main difference is Foote is hoping to take home an even bigger piece of silverware when he starts Travelling Light in tomorrow's group 1 1600m feature.

The last of her three unbeaten starts shot her in to One Thousand Guineas favouritism, when she beat several of her rivals in the Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie.

Since then the filly has travelled south to Christchurch and has settled in well after an initial period of unrest.

"We arrived in Christchurch last Wednesday and it probably took her a couple of days to settle in, but she has fitted right in after that and I am really pleased with her," Foote said.

"She's quite amazing really. She used to be a bit of a funny eater - she would leave a bit of feed.

"But, from the day she won her first start at Taupo, she has turned into a big eater. She has thrived with pressure which is pretty unusual - most horses do the opposite."

Travelling Light landed near the speed before a powerful finish to win at Ellerslie.

Foote is hopeful rider Samantha Collet can take up a handy spot with the filly when she jumps from barrier 9 tomorrow.

"She is usually good from the gate and she can slot in anywhere from the draw, so I am looking forward to [tomorrow]," the trainer said.

Bavella looked to have the Soliloquy Stakes won until Travelling Light unwound strongly to reel her in.

It was the second agonising defeat in a row for the Lance Noble-trained filly, who was narrowly beaten in the Gold Trail Stakes by another One Thousand Guineas contender in Aretha.

Aretha headed south after producing a disappointing run behind Travelling Light at Ellerslie.

Bavella and Aretha clash again with leading One Thousand Guineas contender Kali tomorrow.

The pair have already met the second favourite when beating her home in the Gold Trail Stakes. Kali was desperately unlucky in that event, before travelling south and winning in group 3 company at Ashburton last month.

Their different paths towards the One Thousand Guineas mean formlines will converge and a mouth-watering clash is set between Kali and Travelling Light.

Bookmakers could not split the pair on market opening, rating them at $3.60 equal favourites. Travelling Light moved in to $3.20 favouritism ahead of Kali, who drifted to $3.80, later this week.

 

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