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Vela Pair Chasing Travis Success
Meanwhile, Sir Peter Vela will look forward to tomorrow’s Gr2 Travis Stakes with two chances of adding to his previous three wins in the weight-for-age fillies and mares’ feature, reports NZ Racing Desk. Sir Peter and his late brother Philip first won the race (then known as the Dulcie Stakes) with Christiania Belle in 1993, then Dolmabache in 2012 and Rasa Lila last year. Rasa Lila is back to defend her title for Maungatautari trainers Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie on Saturday and will be joined by the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Echezeaux. Darci Brahma mare Rasa Lila goes into the race as the higher-rated of the pair and looks an improver on her first-up sixth in the Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa three weeks ago. "She [Rasa Lila] needs to find a couple of lengths but she should have that improvement in her. Steven and Julia have said she has come on nicely since that run," Sir Peter's racing manager Garry Cossey said. "They are really happy with her. She's in a pretty good space but we hold no false illusions - it's a very strong edition of the Travis Stakes this year.” Echezeaux (Encosta de Lago) is the lowest-rated entry in the Travis Stakes but she resumed with a meritorious second placing at Hastings earlier this month and earlier this season won second-up at Trentham, defeating subsequent Gr2 performer Beefeater. "She has come back really well. Her sectionals at Hastings were very good compared to all other runners on the day," Cossey said.