Lord Ardmore faces a Group Three test on Saturday. Photo credit: Race Images
The blue and white silks of Go Racing will be out in force over the Easter weekend with a potential eight runners lining up around Australasia.
Lord Ardmore headlines the team with the son of Reliable Man contesting the Gr.3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni on Saturday.
Go Racing’s Albert Bosma said they are looking for an improved run as the Stephen McKee-trained three-year-old had been unlucky in his previous few starts when racing in Group company in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) last start. and Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).
“Two starts ago he was beaten by less than a length by Rocket Spade in the Avondale Guineas and then in the Derby he got pushed wide and nothing went right for him,” Bosma said. “He covered an enormous amount of ground and ended up in front racing far too hard. It was just one of those races where if things had gone right, he would have been there at the finish.
“He has freshened up well and we don’t think the wet track will bother him too much on Saturday. You never know how much a Derby has taken out of horse but he seems really well. We are really looking forward to him racing and we think he is a bit under the radar in this race.”
Johnathan Parkes, who rode Lord Ardmore into fourth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), is back in the saddle and the pair will jump from barrier four.
Later in the day Skyman will step out in the Geoff Murphy Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield. The English import is coming off the back of a last-start second in the Yarra Valley Cup (1950m) after flying home following an interrupted run.
“Skyman was to contest the 2000m Gr.3 Easter Cup but unfortunately he was really badly weighted so we elected to go for the mile race,” Bosma said.
“He is really well, his trackwork has been excellent. Probably the only query is that he is dropping back to a mile and he has an awkward barrier draw so he is going to get back.
“Regardless he is a definite top three chance. We strongly believe he is a Group horse and will be hard to beat when he steps back up in distance. He has developed an excellent record since arriving in Australia three wins and almost $250,000 in prizemoney from just seven starts.”
Bosma is also keeping a close eye on the action at the Inglis Sales complex at Warwick Farm, looking to purchase a new addition for the Go Racing stable.
“We are wanting to buy a well-bred filly to bring back to New Zealand to be trained by Stephen Marsh,” he said. “We want to be able to target those good two- and three-year-old races, win black-type to gain that great residual value for our owners.
“We have had a great response of early interest and anyone that wants to get involved can contact Matt or myself.”