News In Brief
14 February 2018, 2:12 p.m.
Ever Loyal’s future undecided
The future of Group One performer Ever Loyal has yet to be confirmed.
The New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) place-getter has been freshened since he finished fifth in the Listed Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).
“He’s having a short break and when he comes back a decision will be made whether he stays here or goes to Australia,” trainer Tony Pike said.
Ever Loyal was purchased by prominent Australian owner Rob Ferguson prior to the Guineas at Riccarton.
Good surface overdue
The frustrated connections of Heroic Valour are praying for fine weather on the opening day of the next month’s Auckland Cup carnival.
The four-year-old has already missed Group One opportunities this year in both the Railway (1200m) and the BCD Group Sprint (1400m), with wet tracks forcing his late scratching on both occasions.
In between times, he finished strongly at Trentham to run fifth in the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m).
“He’ll trial at Taupo tomorrow and then run in the Darley Plate at Ellerslie,” co-trainer Jamie Richards said. “He’s going well and not far off winning another good one if he gets a decent track.”
Australian debut for Aide Memoire
New Zealand Group One winner Aide Memoire will carry top-weight when she makes her Australian debut for trainer Kris Lees on Saturday in the Gr.3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The daughter of Remind has impressed her Newcastle trainer in the two months she has been with him, but he believes she will be suited to softer track conditions than the Good 4 surface Randwick is currently rated.
“She’s a Group One winner in New Zealand and she’s not a very big mare so carrying 58 kilos will be against her as well,” Lees said.
“She’ll be better suited I feel when we do start getting some softer ground, so she’s one to follow in time.”
Aide Memoire was prepared in New Zealand by Fraser Auret to win the 2016 Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m), while she also finished runner-up in last year’s Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m).
Colt to show more grunt over ground
Mick Price is expecting Grunt to show his serious side when the New Zealand-bred son of O’Reilly steps up in distance.
The Caulfield trainer has reservations about the colt’s chances in Saturday’s Gr.3 C. S. Hayes Stakes (1400m) with the Flemington outing a means to an end.
“You'll see him go a lot better in the Australian Guineas over a mile and even better over 2000m,” Price said.
“I really like the horse, but I don't think 1400m is ideal for him, so I guess we'll see him balance up in the back half (of the field) and with a bit of room he can run on.”
Grunt won two of his three starts last season and has trialled ahead of his three-year-old debut at the weekend.