NZ Briefs for 08th January 2020

Avantage pleases ahead of Telegraph;Manifold Stakes test for Bumper Blast;

Avantage pleases ahead of Telegraph

Avantage  pleased her connections with her final hit-out at Matamata on Tuesday ahead of her next assignment, the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham on January 18.

The Group One-winning daughter of Fastnet Rock completed an exhibition gallop in the hands of Opie Bosson, who was pleased with her efforts over the 5 f trip.

"Ears pricked and hard on the bridle, it was really nice work," he said.

The Jamie Richards-trained four-year-old finished runner-up in the Listed Hallmark Stud Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day first-up and Bosson believes she has improved a lot since that run.

"She was always going to come on heaps for the run at Ellerslie, and she's a strong mare now," he said.

Avantage was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis out of The Oaks Stud's 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale draft for $210,000 and has gone on to win seven of her 13 starts and more than $1 million in prizemoney.

Manifold Stakes test for Bumper Blast

Ocean Park gelding Bumper Blast will step up to stakes level for the first time at Flemington on Saturday when he contests the Listed Manifold Stakes (1400m).

The New Zealand-bred four-year-old has recorded three wins from just five starts, including a last start win over 7 f at Flemington, and trainer Robert Hickmott said working on the beach has helped extend Bumper Blast's long preparation.

"He has been terrific, we have given him plenty of beach work. He has been in the stable just on 11 months now, so he has had a long prep, but looking at him physically he is probably the strongest he has been.

"He has got a marvellous constitution and the beach work has really picked him up."

Saturday's race will be Bumper Blast's sixth start this preparation and Hickmott said he will see how he pulls up after Saturday before deciding whether he gives him one more run.

"If the horse shows us he is ready to go again we could go for another one. It is great money this time of year and if they are still saluting and earning a quid for their owners it's a great position to be in.

"You don't want to go to the well too many times, but he has shown no signs of training off."

Bumper Blast was purchased by David Price, under his Price Bloodstock banner, for $48,000 out of Hallmark Stud's 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale draft.

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