NZ Briefs for 12th November 2020

Million aim for Guineas winner; Cup Day Sold Out; Autumn targets for My Gold Bracelet; Sky Darci stamps Classic Mile credentials

AEGON winning the 48th New Zealand 2000 Guineas
AEGON winning the 48th New Zealand 2000 Guineas Picture: Race Images Photo

Million aim for Guineas winner

Last Saturday's Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Aegon  is likely to be aimed at the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 23, but a delay in returning from the South Island could mean the unbeaten three-year-old enters the race without a run. 

"There was a delay with the (Cook Strait) crossing and he should be back in Cambridge on Friday sometime," said Andrew Forsman, who trains the son of Sacred Falls in partnership with Murray Baker.

"We probably have run out of a bit of time and he could go into the Karaka Classic  without a run at this stage. 

"By the time he gets back he probably needs a couple of weeks to let down and get over the trip."

Forsman was keen to give the lightly-raced galloper a look at Ellerslie on either Boxing Day or New Year's Day, should time permit. 

"At this stage he is quite immature so he takes less work to keep up to the mark," Forsman said. "He is pretty athletic so he will take as long as he needs out and then we will get him back and get him ticking over before we come up with a firm plan of attack."

Cup Day Sold Out

Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup Day at Riccarton Park Racecourse on Saturday is officially sold out.

The Canterbury Jockey Club announced that sales for the capacity attendance of 15,000 people was reached on Thursday afternoon. Consequently, there will be no sales on the day.

The figure of 15,000 includes the allocation for owners of horses racing on the day who are sent their official ticket by way of an 'Owners Letter' from New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.

Interest in the day is further highlighted by a record number of horses totalling 243 wanting to compete on this iconic day across 12 races.

The two feature races, the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m), will start at 2:56pm and 4:06pm respectively.

Autumn targets for My Gold Bracelet

Group Two winner My Gold Bracelet has been turned out for the spring in preparation for some black-type targets in Victoria in the autumn.

The daughter of Pins won three of her four starts in New Zealand for former trainers Johnno Benner and Hollie Wynyard, including the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1400m).

She was then transferred to Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr's Caulfield stable where she placed in her Australian debut before two unplaced runs in the Gr.2 Lets Elope Stakes (1400m) and Gr.2 Stocks Stakes (1600m).

"She has been a little bit disappointing, but there is a reason for that," part-owner Jen Campin said.

"I think the firmer tracks were against her. That's why we made the decision to put her out and wait for the autumn and get a bit of ease in those tracks for her.

"We haven't seen the best of her yet and Michael Kent Jr is very excited about her future."

Back in New Zealand, Campin has been celebrating the success of her Group One winner Wyndspelle being crowned Central Districts Horse Of The Year.

Wyndspelle recorded his long-awaited first Group One victory in Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham last December and now stands at Grangewilliam Stud, near Wanganui.

"All the members of each (club) committee in the Central Districts voted him horse of the year," Campin said.

"Hollie and Johnno received trainer of the year and we received owners of the year.

"I was absolutely stoked."

Campin has been pleased with the level of support Wyndspelle has received in his first season at stud.

"We are pretty happy," she said. "We have had no stallion parades due to COVID-19 restrictions other than a tiny one at Hawera.

"He has some nice broodmares going to him."

Meanwhile, Campin is looking forward to the future with promising gelding Wononeohwon who shares a similar ownership as Wyndspelle.

"He had his first start the other day and came from the back and ran third," she said.

Campin revealed a sentimental reason behind the name of the gelding.

"I wanted to call him The Sentinel because the other owner, John Frew, was sadly diagnosed with cancer and passed away," she said.

"We wanted to respect his involvement with us and he lived in apartment 1101 at The Sentinel over in Takapuna.

"Wyndspelle was the very first horse he invested in with me and we have had a lot of luck since.

"His sister has taken over the ownership in Wononeohwon and is in the ownership of Wyndspelle."

Sky Darci stamps Classic Mile credentials

Sky Darci laid out his credentials for a tilt at the HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Mile with a win over 1200m at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

"We'll go to 1400 metres in December then go for the Four-Year-Old Classic Series," trainer Caspar Fownes said. 

The Darci Brahma gelding mustered early from the gates to hold a midfield position under jockey Joao Moreira, before turning for home and switching back to the inside to pull away in style for a tidy two and three-quarter lengths win. 

"He's always indicated that he is a nice horse," Moreira said. "Today he really proved that, winning with the top weight on his back after not really jumping very well; sticking himself in between horses and just running away – that's all you can ask from a good horse. 

"He just did not let us down – he's a nice horse," the Brazilian ace added.

The New Zealand-bred took his already impressive record to four wins from seven starts and maintained his unbeaten start to this term with two good Class 3 successes. 

"No doubt he's smart, it's not his trip as well – we've just been trying to pinch a few races along the way. He's pretty good," Fownes said. 

Fownes could have a strong hand in the Hong Kong Classic Mile on 24 January, 2021, should stablemate and fellow exciting juvenile Sky Field opt to go there. 

"He's definitely a miler, he's another one, like Sky Field, I'm just so happy for these owners, they have two nice young four-year-olds. That was quite a good effort with 133 pounds, to do that," Fownes said.

Sky Darci is a $160,000 yearling graduate from the draft of Highden Park at Karaka Book 1, while Sky Field was purchased at the same sale from the Trelawney Stud draft for $175,000.

Meanwhile Namjong Plus recorded his sixth Hong Kong win when holding off the fast-finishing Reel Bizzy. 

"I thought he was knocking on the door – he deserved the win," jockey Karis Teetan said. 

The Zacinto seven-year-old stepped away cleanly from the inside draw to hold a position close to the speed on the rail before peeling out at the 400m mark to take over with 100m left to play out. 

"I think the draw helped him, if I hadn't drawn gate one, I could have ended up using him a bit to get a decent position," Teetan said.

"I knew the leader was going to take me into the race and I got a nice trail right through, He fought on nicely, he got lost a little bit when he hit the front because he hit it pretty early and the horse down on the outside encouraged him a little bit to keep going."

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