NZ Briefs for 16th April 2018

Trainer gains upper hand; Unbeaten Mihaul in fine spirits; Oaks goal for Savacool;
Trainer gains upper hand
Peter Lock has been playing mind games with Steppenwolf and the Te Aroha trainer has gone one up on the talented but unpredictable five-year-old.
“He’s a very, very good galloper and it’s just a matter of keeping in the right head space,” he said.
Formerly with John Bary, the son of Stravinsky was on his best behaviour at Hawke’s Bay on Saturday when he made a winning debut from Lock’s stable in Rating 65 company.
“We’ve changed a few things around with him and I’ve just got a treadmill and he’s taken to that,” he said.
“We don’t do a lot with him other than that and I thought he might be hard to beat, he’s looking amazing.
“I’m not saying we’ve worked a miracle, it’s just a matter of keeping him happy and interested.
“He did a great job on Saturday and Sam (Spratt) said he wasn’t that comfortable in the going.
“He’s having a week off and we’ll monitor the weather. If it looks like being okay we might give him one more run, maybe at Ruakaka.”
Unbeaten Mihaul in fine spirits
Exciting four-year-old Mihaul has come through his latest outing in fine style.
The son of Iffraaj won for the fourth time in as many starts when he accounted for his Rating 75 rivals at Te Rapa on Saturday.
“He was a happy and chirpy horse at the beach this morning,” said Kieran Murdoch, who trains Mihaul with her mother Moira.
“So far so good with him. We haven’t worked out where he’ll go next, but he’s certainly a talented horse.
“The way he won after racing wide suggests he might get a bit further and that would open up a few more options.”
Mihaul won his first two starts from Allan Sharrock’s Taranaki stable before undergoing surgery to remove bone chips and he was subsequently sent north to take advantage of the Murdoch’s beach-based operation.
Oaks goal for Savacool
Savabeel three-year-old Savacool has booked her passage to Adelaide for next month’s Gr.1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville.
The New Zealand-bred filly confirmed her classic quest with a strong win over 1 m at Caulfield on Saturday.
Trained by Chris Waller, Savacool has won three of her six starts and is closely-related to the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) winner Coldplay.

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