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Quality mare showcases Railway credentials

9 December 2017, 7:26 p.m.

Volpe Veloce has firmed to outright favouritism for a New Year’s Day feature following her blistering return to racing at Ellerslie.

The four-year-old accounted for Group One winners Heroic Valour, Melody Belle and Rangipo when she powered to victory in Saturday’s Ray White NZ (1200m) at Ellerslie in an impressive dress rehearsal for the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m).

Volpe Veloce gets the better of Heroic Valour Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

“I’m shaking, she did a lot wrong and still won,” said Graham Richardson, who trains the Foxwedge mare with Gavin Parker. “That was amazing and it’s definitely the Railway next.”

Freshened after two failures in rain-affected tracks at the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, Volpe Veloce has firmed from $9 to $5 for the Railway. Defending champion Start Wondering shares the second line of betting at $7 with Heroic Valour.

On Saturday, Volpe Veloce sat back in fourth spot until the turn but when Heroic Valour went past her half-way down the straight, the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained representative seemed set for victory.

“The second horse came out and looked to be travelling better, but she’s very gutsy,” Richardson said.

Successful rider Jake Bayliss was also understandably rich in his praise of Volpe Veloce.

“She’s got stacks of ability. The race was run at a nice tempo and I had a lapful of horse,” he said.

“When I asked her she didn’t quicken that much, but when I asked for another effort she really dug deep.”

Volpe Veloce finished relentlessly to triumph from the Te Akau stablemates and fellow Railway contenders Heroic Valour and Melody Belle.

“Heroic Valour’s going well and it will just top him off,” Richards said. “Melody Belle isn’t screwed down by no means either, both horses will improve.” – NZ Racing Desk.