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Melbourne Cup 2017 contenders step out in NZ

Some of New Zealand’s best horses will be on show before racing gets underway at Taupo.

Bonneval, Gingernuts and Jon Snow, all Group One winners during the Sydney autumn carnival, will be among those contesting Friday’s two 1100m-heats ahead of spring assignments on both sides of the Tasman.

Trainer Stephen Marsh will be there with two of the stable’s elite winners, Thee Auld Floozie and Sofia Rosa along with Brisbane Cup winner Chocante.

“My three are all coming up great and they will just be enjoying a trip away and a nice day out,” Marsh told NZ Racing Desk.

“They won’t be put under pressure.”

“Thee Auld Floozie looks great and she’s having a faultless preparation.

“She’ll definitely run in the first two (triple crown) legs at Hawke’s Bay and then we’ll make a decision where we go.”

“Sofia Rosa will go for all three legs and we’ll also be putting in a nomination for the 2017 Caulfield Cup.”

Sofia Rosa won the 2016 Australian Oaks but her Caulfield Cup campaign was aborted after three below-par runs in Melbourne last spring.

Melbourne Cup 2017 hopeful Chocante will be heading straight to Australia to open his campaign next month.

“He’ll run in the Chelmsford Stakes on September 2,” Marsh said. “We know Winx will be there, but he couldn’t win over a mile anyway and it’s a nice race to kick off in.”

Chocante will then run in the Group Three Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) a fortnight later before ending his Sydney sojourn with a start in the Group One Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on September 30.

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