Top filly off to Aussie, lickety split

Lickety Split is set to cross the Tasman for an Australian campagin. - Photo: Trish Dunell
Lickety Split is set to cross the Tasman for an Australian campagin.

Photo: Trish Dunell

by Michael Guerin, NZ Herald

Outstanding filly Lickety Split has been given the green light for an Australian campaign that could see her value skyrocket.

The Group 1-winning filly will bypass the rest of the New Zealand spring to aim at the 1000 Guineas at Caulfield in October, victory in which would see her future broodmare value more than double.

Lickety Split returned to racing with a brave victory in the Group 3 Northland Breeders Stakes at Ruakaka last Saturday, beating fitter black type rivals in Pacific Dragon and Lord Cosmos.

Her connections had the option of targeting the spring filly's races here on their way to the New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in November but the Australian version is not only worth more but could potentially add $1 million or more to her value.

One of the key reasons behind the decision to send Lickety Split to Australia is she has already won a Group1 here, having beaten Te Akau's best juveniles in the Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie in March.

In only her second race start she held out Karaka Million winner Dynastic and subsequent Sires' Produce winner Maven Belle so ticked the box of Group 1 winner in New Zealand in about the most difficult possible way.

"What she did last season was all on natural ability but it is also hugely beneficial for her future broodmare, being a Group 1 juvenile winner," says trainer Andrew Forsman.

"With that already alongside her name her owners want to have a crack at a big Australian race because really there isn't much she can do here to increase her value.

"So she will head over there soon and her first race will be the Guineas Prelude at Caulfield in September 17.

"Then she has about 3 weeks until the Guineas but that first run will tell us a lot."

Lickety Split is rated at $26 for the Guineas by the Australian TAB and the list of those above her is impressive reading, including Golden Slipper winner Fireburn, She's Extreme and Coolangatta but it is anybody's guess who of those even make it to Caulfield.

While Forsman says the Australian trip almost certainly rules out the Guineas at Riccarton, it could potentially become a back-up option if there was a minor hiccup on Lickety Split's Victorian campaign.

"But even if that did happen I'd say she was unlikely to come home for the spring here because there are so many good filly's races over there," he says.