By Ray Hickson
Sometimes a horse’s pedigree isn’t a true pointer to its optimum distance range and such is the case with lightly raced mare Karavali.
While the four-year-old had struck trainer Kris Lees as an Oaks prospect last winter she’s by Blue Diamond winner Nadeem out of a mare who won one race at 1100m and didn’t venture beyond a mile.
Karavali has her first attempt at the classic distance in the Tab.com.au Handicap (2400m) at Rosehill on Saturday and jockey Jason Collett is confident it won't be the trip that's responsible for any defeat.
Collett was the beneficiary of an untimely injury to fellow rider Damian Browne when he rode Karavali to an easy win over 2000m at Randwick on October 28.
“I have no concerns about the distance,’’ Collett said.
“It helped the other day that the track was on the softer side, we’ll be back onto a better surface on Saturday. It’s not a disadvantage but I would have preferred a softer track.
Karavali's easy win at Randwick - October 28
“Kris said to me in her previous runs she seems to hit a flat spot around when the pressure starts to come on about the 600m but she didn’t hit one the other day.
“I’m not sure whether that was due to stepping up in trip a bit further or the softer track. I thought it might have been the softer track, I guess we’ll find out.’’
On a soft track, Karavali was the only horse to break 13 seconds for the last 200m with Punters Intel data showing she ran 12.90.
To add to her interesting staying credentials on pedigree, Karavali has a two-year-old full brother in New Zealand called Sir Nate who has won two from two at 790m and 1000m.
Collett has enjoyed a strong start to the season and is the leading rider in action at Rosehill on Saturday, sitting in fifth place on the premiership table with 17 city wins.
The 26-year-old has a growing reputation for his ability in staying events and it’s something he said he enjoys.
“Short course races can be won or lost at the start whereas there’s a bit more to it in a staying race,’’ he said.
“Generally the best horse wins it. When you get to 2400m it shows their real staying ability.
“I liked the way Karavali ran through the line, she was strong through it and didn’t stop.’’
At the other end of the distance spectrum at Rosehill on Saturday, Collett rides two-year-old debutante Delchuzy in the #theraces Handicap (1100m).
Despite her $19 TAB Fixed Odds price he said the filly did more than enough running second to Madam Rouge (a $7.50 chance) in her latest trial to suggest she has some ability.
“I liked her trial a lot. She’s had a bit more experience trials wise than most of the other runners,’’ he said.
“The way she relaxed and found the line I was quite impressed with. She’s a nice type and it may not be on Saturday but it will be in time.’’
Collett has his first race ride on prolific winner Your Way who returns in the ATC Membership Now Open Sprint (1200m) after running the worst race of her 10 starts back in July.
With seven wins from those 10 starts Collett said she’s proven herself to be a winner and after partnering her in her two recent trials is expecting the mare to show a return to form.
“Her first trial was a bit fresh but that second trial at Canterbury was better,’’ he said.
“Hopefully the improvement she’s taken from the first to the second comes again on race day.”
His other Rosehill mounts are Blowing Kisses ($5, race 4), Isla Tristana ($4.80, Highway) and Dagny ($5.50, race 7).