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Domestic Group One targets preferred option

28 October 2017, 7:27 p.m.

Sir Patrick Hogan believes his exciting home-bred Hiflyer needs more time to develop before sights are set on Australia.

The Cambridge Stud principal shares in the ownership of the Tavistock five-year-old, who on Saturday opened his black type account with victory in the Gr.3 Grant Plumbing Thompson Handicap at Trentham.

Hiflyer Photo: Peter Rubery Race Images

“My vote would be to stay here for races like the Thorndon Mile and the Zabeel Classic and if he can win them then perhaps Australia in the autumn,” Sir Patrick said.

“The horse certainly did the job for us today, it was a good tough win, but he’s still a teenager.”

In the wake of Hiflyer’s latest success, trainer Peter Lock floated the idea of start in the Gr.1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 11, although he stressed no firm plans were in place for the horse’s immediate future.

“Peter said to me he was looking into it and he’d get home and think about things, there are a stack of races here for him as well,” said jockey Johnathan Parkes, who has an excellent record on the gelding.

“He’s an exciting galloper and certainly Group One material.”

Parkes was in the saddle at Trentham and has now ridden Hiflyer five times for three wins and two seconds, including a runner-up finish in last season’s Gr.2 Easter Stakes (1600m).

At Trentham, they settled in behind the pace and Hiflyer wasn’t to be denied in the straight, getting the better of the brave front-runner Amarula by a neck.

“He hit the front and got a bit lost, he’s probably better ridden a bit colder but the way they were racing today they weren’t making stacks of ground,” Parkes said.

“He’s getting a lot better though, he used to dart around quite a bit when I first rode him.”

Ringo did well after covering extra ground to take third money ahead of Benzini, who came on encouragingly from the back in his first start for three months. Both horses are nominated for next month’s Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton. – NZ Racing Desk.