NZ Briefs for 15th February 2018

Ellerslie test for progressive stayer; Group One beckons southerner; Stakes goal for youngster; Tauranga tune-up for quality mare;
Ellerslie test for progressive stayer
Magic Chai’s quest for another feature staying event rests with his performance at Ellerslie on Saturday.
“He’s entered for the Nathans and we’ll decide on an Auckland Cup start after that,” trainer Tony Pike said.
Magic Chai’s rise through the grades was crowned at Trentham last time out when he won the Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m).
“He came through his Trentham run in great order and he galloped well this morning,” Pike said.
Group One beckons southerner
Lance Robinson is keen to test his stable star Boots ‘N’ All in top northern company.
“The Otaki Group One is a good opportunity to race against the best and see where we’re at,” the Riccarton trainer said, referring to the Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m). “He’s a very, very consistent horse and he’s getting difficult to place here now.”
Boots ‘N’ All has won seven races, including the Listed Timaru Stakes (1400m) and a third in the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) in the spring, and will head to Otaki off the back of an 1 1⁄8 m success on his home course last Saturday.
Stakes goal for youngster
The Listed Berkely Stud Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton on May 5 is the longer-term aim for the precocious youngster Xpressmymind.
The Shamexpress filly credited her Windsor Park Stud-based sire with his first win when she led all the way to score at Riccarton last Saturday at her second appearance.
“She’s come through the race really well and, at this stage, she’ll got to Dunedin next,” part-owner and trainer Andrew Carston said.
Tauranga tune-up for quality mare
A start at Tauranga on March 24 will set up Thee Auld Floozie’s chase for another Group One title.
“She’ll run in the Japan Trophy and then the Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha two weeks later,” trainer Stephen Marsh said.
Thee Auld Floozie won the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) last season before she claimed the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m) and finished runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) behind Charmont.
The Mastercraftsman mare has enjoyed time off since she successfully retained her Westbury Classic title at Ellerslie last month.

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