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21 December 2017, 3:45 p.m.

Calder to ride at Ellerslie on Boxing Day

Macau-based Kiwi jockey Andrew Calder will ride at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

He will partner the Richard Collett-trained Top Prospect in the 2017 Dunstan Feeds 1500 Championship Final (1500m).

“With Alysha suspended, [Top Prospect] will be ridden by our son-in-law Andrew Calder who is home from Macau briefly for Christmas, along with Tasha and their twin boys Tye and Jax,” Collett said.

“Top Prospect is looking to be our best chance on Boxing Day. His previous third placing at Ellerslie earlier in the month over 1400m was a decent run. This Friday he will have a 1000m gallop at Ellerslie to top off his preparation.”

Collett will also produce Cinematic in the Dunstan Final, with promising filly Alternative Fact earmarked for the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.

However, Untamed Diamond will miss the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) after she was scoped and found to have a throat infection after she coughed at the end of a gallop last Saturday.

She will now be set for the Gr.3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 27.


Royal Stakes next target for Anevay

Local trainer Glenn Old drew first blood at Matamata’s twilight meeting on Wednesday when his runner Anevay scored her maiden victory in the Matamata Veterinary Services (1600m).

Ridden by Alysha Collett, the Ocean Park three-year-old filly jumped well before settling fifth on the rail. Collett pulled her wide on the home turn and ran clear to win comfortably by one and three-quarter lengths over Shockool, with Havoc a further head back in third.

Anevay impressed Old with her run and she will now be set for the Gr.2 Stella Artois Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s day.

“We were pretty confident heading into the race, she hadn’t had much luck in her previous runs,” Old said.

“We were pretty happy with her all the way through, we were quite confident she had something there.

“She looks pretty progressive. We are going to look at the Royal Stakes on January 1, that will be our grand final for now.”


Cup players eligible for bonuses

The major players in next year’s Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) will be in line for bonus payments.

Owners will receive a total A$100,000 bonus and the trainer a total A$50,000 bonus if their horse goes on to win or place in the 2018 Schweppes Sydney Cup, the Australian Turf Club has announced.

The Gr.1 Metropolitan (2400m), the Gr.2 Perth Cup (2400m), the Gr.2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) and the Gr.3 Manion Cup (2400m) are races also involved in the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) bonus scheme.

"We want to promote this A$2 million race as one which features a contest between in-form horses from around Australia as well as internationally, and acts as the staying championship of the Sydney autumn carnival,” ATC chairman Laurie Macri said.


Million hopes on line

Peter McKay will find out on Saturday if he’s in contention for further Karaka Million (1200m) success.

The Matamata horseman prepared Vincent Mangano to claim the inaugural running of the event in 2008 and his current hopes rest with Cassius Clay, who runs in the NZ Bakels 2YO Premier (1100m) at Awapuni.

“We’ll see if we can get some money and if he’s good enough to run in the Karaka Million,” McKay said.

Cassius Clay finished fourth in both of his runs in the spring and, following time off, he won a trial at Te Aroha earlier this month.