True Excelsior on trial for NZ G1 attempt

Talented mare True Excelsior hasn’t had a lot of luck in recent starts but her trainer Troy Corstens says he has ‘lost no faith’ in the four-year-old and has grand ambitions for her next month.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel will run at Flemington on Saturday and if she can notch a victory in the 1100-metre fillies and mares Benchmark 84, Corstens believes she will have earned her chance to compete at Group 1 level in New Zealand in January.

“We’ve got a little plan in place for her, hopefully if we run really well on Saturday we’ll most likely give her a crack at the Standish Handicap [on New Year’s Day],” Corstens said on Friday morning.

“All being well she will then head over to New Zealand for the Telegraph Handicap.

“I spoke to Anthony Mithen [managing owner and Rosement Stud principal] and it was his idea, so we put things into place for the Telegraph on the 19th of January.

“We did all our nominations and entries and thought that it might be a nice Group 1 for her to have a crack at.”

Despite True Excelsior having only won two of her 17 starts, her trainers at Malua Racing have always had a big opinion of her and their belief in her ability is unwavering.

“She was really unlucky if you watch her last start on Derby Day, she was extremely unlucky in that race down the straight and just didn’t get a crack at them at all,” Corstens said.

“We took her back down to Geelong and we always wanted to keep her going [this preparation] because we had an interrupted spring.

“She had a little bit of a virus at the start of the spring which held us up quite a bit.

“She has trialled at Geelong [since then] and went very nicely.

“I’ve lost no faith in her whatsoever … drawn out in barrier 11 and I’m quite confident that she’ll be very hard to beat on Saturday.”

Copy: Racing.com, Grace Ramage. Image: Racing Image