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Starstripe Set for Royal Challenge

Impressive last start winner Starstripe (pictured) is primed to contest the Group 2 Royal Stakes over 2000m at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day and is one of three Ballymore runners to contest a very competitive day’s racing.

The three-year-old filly comes up against her own age and sex, but it is another hotly contested fillies event and it is exciting to see how she stacks up with the best in the country.

“She’s trained on very well following her last start win and I think she has improved again,” co-trainer Chad Ormsby said.

“She has drawn wide, although she has shown she can race handy and take a sit, she is very tractable, so we are pretty lucky in that sense.”

“If the track stays firm, and she can get an economical run throughout, we think she can be very competitive.”

Starstripe will be ridden by leading jockey Matthew Cameron who was successful in winning on her at her last outing at Matamata over 1600m.

Queensland Cup winner Mister Impatience is looking right on target to be competitive in his Group 2 assignment – the City Of Auckland Cup over 2400m and the rain predicted will bring him right in to contention and a serious danger to the opposition.

“He’s trained on extremely well and we’ve added blinkers just to help him get away that little bit quicker,” Ormsby said.

“He is a dour horse, but his fitness, draw, jockey and a bit of sting out of the ground are all going to play heavily in his favour.”

Mister Impatience has drawn barrier five and will have the services of big race rider Sam Spratt.

The third and final runner will be another last start winner in All Knitted Up who takes on a strong field in the Special Conditions event over 2100m.

“He’s a very promising stayer in the making and he deserves his chance against this class of field.”

“The improvement in him since his last race has been super and we’re hopeful that he can deliver another encouraging performance.”

Saturday will see talented three-year-old Makarios resuming in the Rating 65 event over 1300m and he will have the services of inform jockey Danielle Johnson.

“He’s very forward and is naturally a very fit horse, and judging by his work leading up to Saturday, he should prove hard to beat.”

“The predicted rain will only enhance his chances, but we think he is pretty versatile in the sense he can run on all surfaces. He’s a pretty smart individual.” Ormsby said.

Majic El will be the last of this weekend’s runners when he lines up in the maiden three-year-old event over 1200m at Thames on Sunday.

“Ability is certainly no problem, he has just had a hard time learning to settle and race generously in his last couple of starts – he jumps the gates almost too well!.”

“We’ve had to experiment with some gear and hopefully that will do the trick for Sunday – if he can relax and preserve some energy he is a winning chance.”

[31 Dec 15]

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