Campionessa (middle) and Vow And Declare (outside) in the Peter Young Stakes

Campionessa (middle) winning the Peter Young Stakes from Vow And Declare (outside) (Image: Racing Photos)

Tangerine tsunami to hit The Valley?

In any new job, there's a great deal of knowledge that needs to be absorbed quickly.

For Ben Gleeson, that's been the New Zealand form lines in his role managing Te Akau's Melbourne stable under the Kiwi operation's head trainer Mark Walker.

"It's weird, on a Saturday, I'm finishing work at nine o'clock and then watching races from 9:30, 10 o'clock onwards," Gleeson said.

"The missus isn't happy about that, watching races from 9am to 5pm!

"It's been great to learn not only about all the Te Akau horses at home but about the breeding that you see pop up and they breed such incredible horses in New Zealand, we all know that, but to actually look into it and follow the form, it's certainly opened up my knowledge plenty."

One of the horses Gleeson would have watched closely from afar is Certainly, who will make her Australian debut in the Group 3 Alexandra Stakes.

The three-year-old has won two of her five career starts and is also nominated for major races in Sydney like the G1 Australian Oaks and the G1 Queen of the Turf Stakes.

"She's fit, well, she obviously won a Group 3 last start back in New Zealand in nice fashion," Gleeson said.

"She's a Savabeel filly, racing at a mile and looking to progress in trip will really suit her. She's a very promising filly, they've got a big opinion of her.

"She just seems to be on an upwards trajectory at the moment, so hopefully the trip away stimulates her and we see a big performance.

"Hopefully, she proves a filly to push on with in the autumn."

Sportsbet has Certainly at $5 for the sixth race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

WATCH: Certainly's previous start in New Zealand

G1-winning mare Campionessa will have her second start in Australia this preparation when she contests the G2 Sunline Stakes.

The six-year-old won the G2 Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield and galloped at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning.

"It was a huge effort," Gleeson said of that last-start victory.

"She's been up a long time at home, Mark and Sam (Bergerson) sent her over looking a picture of health and in good order.

"It is a lot to travel in one week and race and they were adamant she was the mare to do it and she was, she's tough, but she went for a week freshen up post that run. It did her the world of good, a water walker for a week and a paddock and she came back in just flourishing.

"She's put on a little bit of weight, she's settled in really well to the routine at Cranbourne, she's had a couple of nice pieces of work now, this morning was really nice, really happy with the way that she cornered and handled The Valley and had a look around."

Campionessa is the $3.40 favourite for the Sunline Stakes. 


Quality filly Quintessa will step up to 2040m on Saturday when she takes her place in the G2 Alister Clark Stakes, after she worked to the line well for fourth in the G1 Australian Guineas at her most recent outing.

Quintessa certainly is bred to handle the rise in distance and worked in company with Campionessa on Tuesday.

"She's a very promising filly, she's a Shamus Award, so she's going to get better with age, I think and she still looks immature, but what she's done is incredible for the young horse she is," Gleeson said.

"She ran a huge race in the Guineas, I don't think many horses made the ground that she did all day, sitting back where she did. She ran the fastest 600m of the race.

"I'm very happy with her, she came here this morning, she's a pretty leisurely track worker. She wears blinkers on race day and doesn't switch on until race day, there's not a lot to look into her trackwork but she's done wonders in the three weeks since the run, she's put on weight, her coat's come on again and she's a very happy horse."

Quintessa is the $3.50 favourite with Sportsbet for the Alister Clark Stakes, in what looms as a massive day at The Valley for Te Akau, who will also saddle up outstanding mare Imperatriz in the G1 William Reid Stakes and Prismatic in the opening event on the program.