News In Brief

Racing Desk
10 October 2017

Cambridge trainer fighting for sight

Surgeons in Christchurch are fighting to save Cambridge trainer Tarissa Mitchell's sight in one eye after a two-year-old galloper lashed out at her on Monday.

Mitchell, 44, underwent surgery on Monday night after the horse took fright and kicked her in the head, connecting with her eye. She is scheduled for further surgery on Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm pretty sure I've lost my sight in the eye," an understandably emotional Mitchell said.

She is campaigning five horses in Canterbury, with the two-year-old among the travelling party.

"I was just putting the horses out from the boxes because it had stopped raining," Mitchell said.

"I had walked her over for a bit of a pick. She just got a fright at something and lashed out at me. She kicked me in the head and got the inside of my eye."

Mitchell, who rode 83 winners as a jockey in the 1990s, has fast earned a good reputation as an astute conditioner of a horse since taking out her trainer's licence in 2015.

She has saddled 12 winners from just 49 starters and intends lining up three horses at Timaru on Friday.


Guineas bid weather dependant

A break in the weather will certainly rule Hard Merchandize out of next month’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

“I haven’t decided yet, but he definitely won’t be going if it looks like a hard track, it can get very, very firm there,” trainer and part-owner Gary Vile said.

Hard Merchandize led all the way to win Saturday’s Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) and has breezed through the race.

“He pulled up brilliantly, he’s very bright,” said Vile, who has an obvious eye on January’s Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie with the son of Burgundy.


Smart 4YO crossing Tasman

Black type mare Royal Fashion is to continue her career in Australia.

Raced by prominent Hong Kong-based owner Dr Gene Tsoi, the daughter of Snitzel won twice from 10 starts for Cambridge trainer Mark Forbes and ran second in last season’s Gr.3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m).

“She’s on a flight tomorrow and she’s going to David Hayes, who Gene has had a long association with,” Forbes said.

“The tracks here haven’t helped and there’s a lot better races over there for fillies and mares.”

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