NZ Briefs for 26th November 2018

Melt Sydney bound; Marshal a staying quandary; Almond Eye wins Japan Cup in record time
Melt Sydney bound
Multiple stakes-winning filly Melt will continue her immediate racing future with expat Kiwi trainer Chris Waller in Sydney.
The daughter of Iffraaj is currently spelling in Christchurch after a successful spring campaign that resulted in two wins and a placing from four starts, including victory in the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka.
“She is still down in Christchurch having a bit of a spell and she’s heading to Chris Waller’s on Friday, this week,” former trainer Nigel Tiley said.
“If she managed to get a bit of black-type over there that’s fantastic for her future as a broodmare, but if she doesn’t come up she can always come back and we’ll find another path for her.”
Melt has won four of her eight starts and finished second to Avantage in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a juvenile.
Marshal a staying quandary
Connections of talented galloper Mongolian Marshal were pleased with his second placing behind Igraine in the Gr.3 Ssangyong Counties Cup (2100m) on Saturday, but there remains a question mark as to whether the son of High Chaparral is a genuine stayer.
"Obviously we would have liked to have won the race, but the winner was just too good in the slow conditions,” co-trainer Andrew Forsman said.
“Igraine was hard fit and reveled in the ground late and he probably just felt the pinch. I think he just ran out of puff over the last 0. It was his first run over middle distance this campaign.”
While Forsman and training partner Murray Baker are keen to set the four-year-old another staying test in the Gr.3 Skycity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m), rider Matthew Cameron is less convinced of his ability to get over ground.
"We'll give him his chance and he'll probably run in the Waikato Cup or something like that and assess where he stands after that,” Forsman said.
“We won't write him off as a stayer yet, but Matt was fairly adamant that he's got a good turn of foot and maybe the mile is more his
“That's something we'll figure out in the next start or two."
Almond Eye wins Japan Cup in record time
Almond Eye has set herself up for the world stage with her record-breaking win in the Japan Cup.
She ran a sizzling 2:20.6 for the 1 1⁄2 m on Sunday to join 2012 winner Gentildonna as three-year-old fillies to win the race.
Since running second on debut, Almond Eye has not been defeated, winning six races including the fillies triple crown.
"I had every confidence in her potential and she was in great form coming into the race," her trainer Sakae Kunieda said.
"The Japan Cup itself being recognised as an international event and having won this race gives her various options to choose from including an overseas challenge that will most certainly be expected of her, although details will have to be discussed with the owners."
The dominant favourite, Almond Eye started from the inside gate and travelled well for Christophe Lemaire to pull away from front runner Kiseki to win by 1-1/4 lengths.

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