Kiwi Kate set for VRC Oaks

Highly regarded filly Kate (NZ) took another serious step toward the Melbourne spring carnival when downing her rivals in NZ Bloodstock Insurance Hcp (1200m) on Saturday’s Hastings card.

The three-year-old has now won at sprint distances in her last two starts but it’s over a staying trip that her connections confidently expect her to be most effective.  “We were a little bit worried about it being 1200 metres again but she handled it with no worries,” Matamata trainer Wayne Hillis said.  “It’s all good practice.”

Kate (3f St Reims – Dutowin by Danasinga) drove through a gap along the rails for apprentice Alex Forbes and finished off strongly to defeat Dorian Grey (Postponed) and Taoist Master (Any Suggestion).

“The long-term plan is the VRC Oaks in November,” Hillis added.  “She will have one or two more starts in New Zealand before we go to Australia.”

Kate is raced by owner-breeder Don Skelton and her next assignment will be the LR Wanganui Guineas (1340m).  She is by Grangewilliam Stud sire St Reims (Zabeel) who was a G1 winner of the 2002 New Zealand Derby and 2005 Zabeel Classic.