News In Brief
Light Cup preparation to Gobstopper’s liking
Gobstopper will make just one more appearance before the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m).
The brother to the multiple international Group One winner Werther is best served with his races well-spaced.
“He’s such a clean-winded horse and he’ll go to the Egmont Cup and then into the New Zealand Cup,” trainer Andrew Campbell said. “He’s needed to strengthen up and he’s done that this year and 3200m will be right up his alley.”
Gobstopper has won his last two races over ground at Tauherenikau and at Awapuni, both times with dominant front-running displays.
Phelan side-lined after fall
Shaun Phelan is facing a lengthy period of recovery after a fall at Wanganui on Thursday.
The leading jumps jockey suffered broken ribs and AC joint damage when he parted company with Joking with 700m to run in the Jolt Coffee House Open Steeplechase (4100m).
The race also saw the unfortunate demise of Nell’s Belle, who lost jockey Emily Farr when she went down on her nose at the penultimate jump. The Neil O’Dowd-bred, owned and trained mare suffered injuries in the incident that resulted in her being humanely euthanised.
High hopes for promising stayer
A trial at Foxton next week will be the launching pad to loftier heights for Boxachocolates.
“He’s doing well and hopefully we’ll be looking at some cup races for him around Christmas time,” Awapuni trainer Mike Breslin said.
The son of Alamosa won twice during the autumn and was spelled after an unplaced effort on an unsuitably heavy track at Tauranga in June.
Meanwhile, a bad barrier may count stablemate Red Cougar out of Saturday’s Trinity Hill 1300 at Hawke’s Bay.
“He’s doubtful – he drew wide on the first day and finished a game third, but I wouldn’t do it again unless there was a lot of rain and the draw wouldn’t matter so much,” Breslin said.
Track to decide quality mare’s participation
A start at Riccarton on Saturday remains in the balance for the Group One winner La Diosa.
Last season’s New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner will resume in the Canterbury Westland Racing Owners’ Association Open (1200m) if conditions improve.
“She’s very well and we’re happy, but the big query is whether we start if it’s heavy,” co-trainer Mandy Brown said. “We’d prefer the track to come back a bit for her. There are other options and we’re in no hurry.”
La Diosa’s spring target is the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) on November 15.