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Zabeel Classic goal for Ronchi

16 November 2017, 3:39 p.m.

An in-form Ronchi will be stretched out in trip to chase a Group One prize this campaign.

The capable five-year-old has won six races up to a mile, but it will be a 2000m feature that the black type performer is being readied for.

Ronchi Photo: Trish Dunnell Photography

As part of that preparation, Ronchi will take in Saturday’s Gr.2 Gartshore Tauranga Stakes, in which he will as usual be partnered by Grant Cooksley.

“Safely through this race he will probably head to Auckland on December 2 for an open mile, in which he ran second last year, and then we’ll be looking at the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic on Boxing Day,” said Allan Peard, who trains in partnership with Bruce Wallace.

“He hasn’t been tried much past a mile, but he will run a solid 2000m.”

Ronchi did finish fourth as a three-year-old in both the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) and the Gr.2 Championship Stakes (2100m), his only other start over ground that season saw him finish eighth against the older horses in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).

The son of Stravinsky has been in good touch this preparation and beat the talented Hiflyer at Ruakaka two runs back before he finished second at Ellerslie last month.

“It was six weeks between runs and he had 60kg on a slow track,” Peard said. “We’re really happy with the horse.

“It looks a winnable race for him, he’s drawn five in an eight-horse field so he’ll go forward.

“He likes to keep rolling and to do his own thing, he’s a bit stuck in his ways now.” – NZ Racing Desk.