Riccarton trainers Pam and Kevin Hughes are looking forward to welcoming stable star Emily Margaret back into the team next month after her bone-chip operation.
A decisive winner of the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year title, Emily Margaret was sent to Cambridge for surgery after ending her three-year-old campaign with a second behind Secret Allure in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton in early April.
“She went up to the Cambridge Equine Clinic and had chips taken out of both knees,” Pam Hughes said.
“She’d had them for a while so it goes to show what a tough wee unit she is.
“They said the operation has been 100 percent successful. She has been recovering at Maara Grange in Cambridge and has started working on the treadmill. She’s due back down with us in mid-August.”
A daughter of Pins, Emily Margaret has recorded four wins and six placings from 13 starts with all her wins coming this season, in which she contested three of the four legs of the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year series.
She won the first two legs, the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton last September and the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui on March 2, and before her series second in the Airfreight Stakes she headed north and beat some smart northerners when winning the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham.
Her huge Wellington Guineas performance was a boost to her profile when defeating Vigor Winner and Dawn Patrol. Vigor Winner went on next start to deadheat for first in the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa, while Dawn Patrol had been runner-up to Madison County in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.
Emily Margaret earned a crack at the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton last November when a creditable seventh to Media Sensation and, all going well, she will be back at the New Zealand Cup meeting this year with her mission being the Gr.3 Stewards Handicap (1200m) on November 13.
“We’ll obviously space her races and the aim is to have her ready for the Stewards,” Hughes said. “She’s pretty fast and her pet distance is up to 1400m so she should be ideally suited.”
Emily Margaret has speed in her pedigree as she is from the O’Reilly mare Seven Schillings, who was the top filly on the 2008-09 New Zealand 2YO Free Handicap after winning the Gr.3 Taranaki 2YO Classic (1200m) and runner-up in the Gr.1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.
Bred under the Archer Equine Investments banner, Emily Margaret was sold through Trelawney Stud's 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling draft. She was knocked down to Rodger Finlay for $55,000 and has earned in excess of $160,000 from 13 career starts. -NZ Racing Desk.