NZ Briefs for 07th March 2018

Smart 2YO set for CD feature; Breeders’ Stakes filly’s target; Cameron likes Lizzie’s chances; Distance a concern for Kiwi hope; Lifeline for Macau Racing
Smart 2YO set for CD feature
Talented filly She’s A Thief will make her last appearance for the season at Awapuni later this month.
“She’s heading there for the Sires’ Produce Stakes, we could have gone to Ellerslie for the Group One on Saturday but we want to give her a bit more time between runs,” co-trainer Pam Gerard said.
“We initially thought she was just a two-year-old type, but she’s really grown and furnished so we can look forward to her as a three-year-old. In the meantime, she’ll have just the one more run this time in.”
The Showcasing filly has won two of her five starts and last time out she was narrowly beaten in the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) after drawing the outside gate.
Breeders’ Stakes filly’s target
Stephen Marsh has a black type plan for the smart filly Power Dream.
“She’s back up to three-quarter pace now and she’ll probably have one run and then into the Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes,” the Cambridge trainer said.
Third behind the Group One performers Embellish and Ever Loyal on debut, she then broke her maiden and was turned out after finishing fifth at Tauranga in November.
“She was immature and had a few niggling growing pains,” Marsh said.
Cameron likes Lizzie’s chances
Jockey Matt Cameron understandably fancies his chances at Ellerslie on Saturday of consecutive Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) wins aboard the top mare Lizzie L’Amour.
“I’m really happy with her, I galloped her on Tuesday and she went super,” he said.
Trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Lizzie L’Amour is in sparkling form with two wins, including the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and two placings from her last four appearances.
Distance a concern for Kiwi hope
Jamie Richards believes Age Of Fire could be vulnerable over a mile when he makes his Australian debut in Saturday’s Gr.1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
“He's been getting back and finding the line a bit, he might be run off his feet a bit early. Once he gets out to 1 1⁄4 m we could ride him a bit handier,’’ said Richards, who trains in partnership with Stephen Autridge.
Richards believes Age Of Fire, who has drawn is a better horse on top of the ground and is hoping to see the Randwick track improve from its Soft 7 rating on Wednesday.
“We are under no illusions as to how hard a task this running against Kementari and Pierata and those sorts of horses, but we think he is a pretty serious horse when he gets out to a mile and a-quarter and a mile and a-half.’’
Richards is hoping those points will be proved when Age Of Fire progresses to the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m).
Lifeline for Macau Racing
The Macau Government has extended the horse racing concession of Macau Horse Race Company Ltd, operator of Macau Jockey Club, for another 24 years and six months after the company pledged to invest MOP$1.5 billion (NZ$255 million) to upgrade facilities.
Secretary for Economy and Finance Leong Vai Tac revealed that the concession extension will now run through to 31 August 2042 – a massive jump on the six-month extension it had previously been granted in August and the two-year extension it was granted in September 2015. Leong said the investment would help Macau achieve its goal of becoming the World Center for Tourism and Leisure.
Macau Horse Race Company has promised to include a number of non-gaming elements in its upgrade including multiple hotels and restaurants. Leong added that it must put the established capital in place at the appointed time or the new contract would be suspended.
It is hoped that the lengthy concession will help the Macau Jockey Club improve its dire financial position, with Macau Horse Racing Company having booked a loss every single year since 2005.
The Macau Jockey Club racehorse population has declined from more than 1200 in 2003 to just 330, while only 57 race meetings were held last season.

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