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13 December 2017, 2:07 p.m.

Ellerslie outing for Zabeel hope

Volkstok’n’barrell will trim down for a Group One assignment with an exhibition gallop this weekend.

“He’s packed on the beef so we’ll take him to Ellerslie on Sunday, it will do him good to have another look around,” co-trainer Chris Gibbs said.

A last-start third in the Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m), Volkstok’n’barrell has been set for the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. He finished runner-up to Consensus in the weight-for-age feature last year.


Moloney returning to NZ

Patrick Moloney will be riding in New Zealand this week to again fill in for the suspended Jake Bayliss.

The stable rider for Mike Moroney in Melbourne will cross the Tasman to partner the exciting juvenile She’s A Thief in the Wentwood Grange Premier (1200m) at Te Rapa on Saturday and The Boy Wonder in the Listed Auckland Age Concerns 3YO Salver (2100m) at Ellerslie the following day.

Both horses are trained by Moroney at his Matamata base with Pam Gerard.

Moloney, who will also be in action at Tauranga on Friday, won the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial (1500m) at Ellerslie and was successful aboard Bocce at Otaki for the stable earlier this month when deputising for a suspended Bayliss.


Million spot on the line

Debut winner Nirvana In Fire will chase a berth in the country’s richest race at his next appearance.

“He’s going to run on Boxing Day to give him that vital experience around Ellerslie and hopefully bank some dollars to sneak into the Karaka Million field,” co-trainer and part-owner Andrew Scott said.

Nirvana In Fire successfully followed up a trial win when he led all the way to score on debut at Pukekohe earlier this month.