Sargent banks on Banchee

Matamata trainer John Sargent will back himself to have Banchee ready to win the G1 Myer Classic second-up at Flemington on October 29.

Sargent opted to trial the G1 winning mare at Cambridge on Thursday after baulking at options to race her at Te Aroha and Ellerslie last week when those tracks came up heavy.

Banchee (NZ) will have a sole lead-up run for her trip to Australia in either the LR Matamata Cup (1600m) or G3 Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) on October 8 .

Banchee (4m Oratorio – Miss Jessie Jay by Spectacularphantom) is raced by Peter and Philip Vela and she won the Cambridge hit-out by over a length.  “She’s ticking over really nicely,” Sargent said.  “She’s had a couple of trials and she’s clean-winded.  She’s got the brilliance and it’s up to us now just to keep her happy.”

The Vela brothers bought Banchee from Sam Kelt last year after her victories in the G1 Diamond Stakes and G2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes.  She went seven starts without a win for her new connections before winning back-to-back features at Ellerslie earlier this year.

Banchee was the most expensive Oratorio yearling at the 2009 majors when selling for $375,000 at the 2009 NZB Karaka Premier yearling sale.  She is a half-sister to NZ 1000 and 2000 Guineas winner Katie Lee.