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NZ Briefs for12th July 2018

Smart filly on Australian path; National on jumper’s radar again; Kiwi-bred does his bit;
Smart filly on Australian path
Talented filly Santa Catarina has begun her build-up toward a proposed trip to Australia.
“She’s been back for three weeks and is in light work at this stage,” trainer Stephen Marsh’s foreman Rhys Mildon said.
“She’s strengthened up a lot, she was very raw early on.”
The Savabeel filly has won two of her three starts and was spelled following her Listed success in the Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1100m) at Te Rapa in May.
Santa Catarina is likely to be set for the Gr.2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) in September as a lead in to the Gr.1 Flight Stakes (1600m), also at Randwick.
National on jumper’s radar again
Chocolate Fish is in the mix for a return trip to Christchurch.
The Colombia gelding finished fourth in last year’s Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) and another crack at the August feature is being considered.
“He’s a very dour staying horse and Riccarton probably suits him better,” trainer Shane Brown said. “The other option is to stay up here for the Northern, but he didn’t really handle Te Rapa that well when he ran in the Waikato Steeples.”
Chocolate Fish was a last-start third in the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m) and has done well ahead of Saturday’s Grant Plumbing Wellington Steeplechase (5500m).
“He’s going well and the further he goes the better he is,” Brown said. “He came through his last run well and he’s bright and happy.”
Kiwi-bred does his bit
A New Zealand-bred has edged Hong Kong trainer Almond Lee a step closer to safety.
Zacinto’s son Namjong Plus was successful at Happy Valley on Wednesday night to bring Lee’s tally for the season to He needs to reach 16 wins to avoid a Licensing Committee show cause hearing after twice failing to meet the benchmark in the past.
“He is a horse I have hope for next season,” Lee said. “I think even 1 1⁄8 m will be too short, but maybe 1 3⁄8 m around here will be good for him in time.”
Namjong Plus placed in both of his trials for Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston before relocating to Hong Kong where he has won three of his nine starts.

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