News In Brief
12 December 2017, 4:48 p.m.
First-up Concorde bid
Stakes performer Jimmy Rea will make his New Zealand debut next month.
A multiple winner in Singapore for premiership-winning trainer Mark Walker, the Kevin Hickman-bred and owned gelding is now in the Matamata stable of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards but has yet to race here.
Jimmy Rea joined their Queensland winter carnival team earlier this year and finished third in the Listed Hinkler Quality (1200m) at Doomben.
“He’s a very good horse and he’ll have a trial and we plan to run him first-up in the Concorde on Karaka Million night,” Richards said.
Top honours await mare
Sensible Princess is destined to make her mark at Group One level.
Her entry was delayed when she missed last Saturday’s Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) with a bruised heel, but trainer Fraser Auret believes her time will come.
“You can’t take on those horses if you’re not 110 per cent so we put her aside,” he said.
“She’s very exciting and we’re happy to wait. She’s come a long way from a Rating 62 to 98 this campaign.”
Sensible Princes has won six of her 10 starts and at her most recent appearance she beat Francaletta and Coldplay to claim the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m).
Karaka Million attracts Birchley again
Liam Birchley is plotting another crack at next month’s Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie.
The Queensland trainer produced Sarge in Charge to finish runner-up in 2009 and won the following year with Sister Havana, a feat he replicated with Hardline in 2015.
This time around, his hopes rest with the Per Incanto youngster Magic Mystery, a debut second last month.
“Liam told me he’s hoping to get enough money at his next start to qualify,” said Sam Williams, whose Little Avondale Stud sold the colt to Birchley at Karaka earlier this year for $170,000.
Meanwhile, theVictorian filly Solar Star is also in the mix for a trip to New Zealand.
Trainer Anthony Freedman will give the trial winner a race day opportunity in the near future to gain entry into the Karaka Million.
Solar Star is a daughter of Zoustar and was purchased out of Westbury Stud’s Karaka draft for $190,000.