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NZ Briefs for 02nd November 2018

Cup start hangs in the balance;Waller keen on Shillelagh’s chances;Another stakes winner for Iffraaj
Cup start hangs in the balance
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Zacada is currently 24th in order of entry for the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday, but he will be relying on results to go his way at Flemington on Saturday in order to retain his spot in the field.
The Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) runner-up’s spot could be taken by the winner of the Gr.3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) or Thinkin’ Big, who will contest the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m).
His trainers have been pleased with his work this week and are just hoping he can make the field for the two-mile feature.
“He can stay, he does run the trip,” Baker said.
“He has been working well, that is all we can go He seems a healthy horse, we just hope he can make the field.
“I hope we can expect an improvement from his recent form, but I think Damian Lane is going to ride him, he’s got a good rider Two-miles is his go.”

Waller keen on Shillelagh’s chances
Trainer Chris Waller believes he holds a strong hand in Saturday’s Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) with stablemates Invincibella and former Kiwi Shillelagh.
“I expect both horses to be very hard to beat,” Waller said.
“Shillelagh won on this day last year in the Kennedy Mile against the boys and she returns to her own sex here, under weight for age conditions.
“Her runs have been very good, she wasn’t suited by the style of race last start in the Toorak but still hit the line well and has come through that race in good form.
“Prior to that she ran a very creditable race in a strong edition of the Epsom Handicap back in Sydney.
“James McDonald is aboard and barrier 10 should suit her normal racing style.”
Shillelagh was bred and is owned by Hunterville-based Christopher Grace QSM and his wife Susanna.
Another stakes winner for Iffraaj
Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Iffraaj was represented by his 64th stakes winner yesterday courtesy of the Roger Varian-trained Rasima's victory in the Fleur De Lys Fillies' Stakes (Listed, 1 m) at Lingfield in the
The three-year-old stole a march on the field upon turning into the straight and finished a length and a quarter to the good of the fast-finishing Move Swiftly.
Iffraaj shuttles to the Chitty family’s Haunui Farm in Karaka where he currently stands for a fee of $25,000.
Iffraaj has been represented by the likes of Group One winners Turn Me Loose, Gingernuts and Jon Snow, in addition to Filly of the Year Fix, from his New Zealand-bred crops.

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