Adelaide Cup tilt likely for Defibrillate
Kiwi-bred horses have had a strong record in the Gr.2 Adelaide Cup (3200m), with the likes of Surprise Baby and Fanatic winning recent editions, and Plumpton trainer Patrick Payne is looking to extend that run with his in-form gelding Defibrillate.
The six-year-old son of Shocking has won two of his three starts this preparation, including the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day and the Lexus Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Payne was pleased with the win last weekend and said he has come through the run well.
"The race worked out really well for him, he was ridden really well," he said.
"The horse is a lovely horse to deal with. I appreciate Richy (Graham Richardson) sending him over. He is a really nice horse and I don't think that will be his last win.
"He came over in good form and he has been in good form all of his life really. That was his third run this preparation and he has pulled up fantastic."
Formerly trained in New Zealand by his co-breeder and part-owner Graham Richardson, Defibrillate won two of his three starts on home soil before transferring to Payne's care where he has won on a further five occasions.
Victorious in his only stakes test to date, Payne is now eyeing some Group targets with his charge, including the Adelaide Cup in March.
"There is the Adelaide Cup coming up and there are some beautiful Saturday races for him from now until then," he said.
"We will just see how he goes. We will quietly head down that path."
Golden Sixty primed for Stewards' Cup
New Zealand Bloodstock graduate Golden Sixty pleased his connections with his trial on Tuesday ahead of his tilt at the Gr.1 Stewards' Cup (1600m) at Sha Tin on January 24.
"I'm happy with his trial, in the trial you can relax him – he doesn't show much, he never does," trainer Francis Lui said.
The son of Medaglia d'Oro went through his first barrier trial of the new year under his own steam, travelling wide throughout before crossing the line fourth, while the Caspar Fownes-trained Southern Legend went home best in a time of 1m 11.73s with stablemate Rise High just behind him.
Lui outlined the brilliant five-year-old's programme for the near future, including a potential step back up to 2000m for the first time since his thrilling BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) success last year in next month's Gr.1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), where he may square off with reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year, Exultant.
"Stewards' Cup first and then maybe next month's Gold Cup," Lui said, all but ruling out an overseas tilt this year: "Not this season (to going overseas) but that's another plan."
The bay will seek back-to-back Group One victories in Sunday week's HK$12 million feature in what will be his fifth run this term as he shoots for his 12th consecutive win after surpassing the great Beauty Generation's 10 Hong Kong wins in a row last month.
"Sometimes you have to worry that he doesn't race too much, there aren't many races for him so he's fresh - Vincent (Ho) said he was a bit fresh this morning." Lui said.
Lui was pleased with Golden Sixty's wellbeing and he remains buoyant of a positive result in 12 days' time.
"The way he has won his last few races – he can win," Lui said.
Golden Sixty was purchased by Lui out of Riversley Park's 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Yearling Sale draft for $300,000.