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Carston attacking on two fronts

Andrew Carston has set stable runners significant home and away targets this weekend.

The Riccarton trainer will be represented by the last-start winner Pretty Good Excuse in Saturday’s Greenwood Amberley Cup while Meursault has gone north to tackle the Listed Seeka Tauranga Classic.

Meursault is in a consistent run of form with a stakes placing in the Listed Great Easter Stakes before she finished fourth in the North Island Challenge Stakes at Trentham.

“I wasn’t confident with her on the Heavy11 at Wellington, but she ran well,” Carston said.

“She had a week off and she’s been at Lisa Latta’s since. It’s always been the plan for her to go up to Tauranga and 1400 metres is her best distance - she struggles to get a strong mile.”

Carston is uncertain of the future of the Ekraar mare, who is a half-sister to the triple Group One winner Vosne Romanee, post-Tauranga.

“I imagine that she will be served in the spring,” he said. “Whether she comes back down here or not, I’m not sure just yet.”

Meanwhile, the free-going Pretty Good Excuse holds a nomination for the Gr. 3 eStar Winter Cup at Riccarton and her next two performances will determine whether she gets her chance at the August 5 feature.

“She’s definitely going as well as ever and there’s another $30,000 race for her at Oamaru in three weeks,” Carston said. “If she ran well in both of them we might have a go.”

Pretty Good Excuse has proved herself to be a serious performer under Carston’s guidance.

“When she came to me she was a Rating 55 mare and couldn’t get a start. Now, she’s won eight races in the South Island and more than $100,000,” he said.

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