NEWS PREVIEW

Hawke’s Bay run fuels classic hopes

The Byerley Park conditioner, who produced the now Hong Kong-based Dukedom to win last season’s Levin Classic (1600m), was thrilled with the maiden three-year-old’s run for sixth in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).
“It was huge and against the pattern of the day,” Cole said. “From where he got to in the race he wasn’t a winning chance, but the way he got home was really encouraging.”
Stakes placed as a juvenile in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes (1400m), Ohceedee’s effort to come from second last on Saturday showed he was on target for November’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).
“He ran the fastest last 3 f (34.95) and he’s already looking for the mile – the big, long straight at Riccarton is really going to suit him,” Cole said.
“He travelled home well and he’s as bright as a button. We just have to decide whether we find a maiden mile for him next or run in the Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa before we head to Christchurch.”
Cole’s hand in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas could be doubled after Saturday’s meeting at Matamata where Inca Warrior will be in action.
“He’ll run in the three-year-old race over 7 f and, as long as he runs well, we’ve got intentions to take him to Riccarton as well,” he said.
Inca Warrior broke his maiden at Te Aroha two runs back and then finished at Te Rapa last month.
“He likes the cut out of the ground, but he’s not an out and out mudder,” Cole said.

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