Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs have decided to take a shot at a Group One weight-for-age prize with the highly talented filly Valley Girl (Mastercraftsman), putting in a late nomination for Saturday’s Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa.
The Mastercraftsman filly was one of five late entrants for the $300,000 contest, boosting the field to nine runners. Valley Girl will carry just 52 kilograms and leading jockey Lisa Allpress has been booked to ride her.
“It’s a Group One and we thought we might as well have a go,” Logan told www.theinformant.co.nz. “There’s a bit of depth in the race, but the Avondale Guineas is going to be very strong anyway. So we thought there wouldn’t be much point in waiting around for that, we’d prefer to have a look at a Group One. She’s qualified for the Derby anyway.”
Valley Girl is currently rated a $12 chance for the Derby, sharing fifth favouritism with Predator. The Ruakaka filly has had five starts for two wins including a powerful last-start victory on Karaka Million night at Ellerslie. She also ran third to Capella in the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic, fourth to Alamer in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial and fifth to Sofia Rosa in the Gr. 2 Royal Stakes.
Danielle Johnson was aboard for Valley Girl’s most recent success, but she has a prior commitment to Auckland Cup favourite Vavasour.
“We’ve booked Lisa Allpress,” Logan said. “We’re very pleased with our filly. She’s worked very well since her last-start win. She gets in nicely with 52 kilograms and deserves her chance.”