News In Brief
Cup test for Kissinger
New Zealand-bred gelding Kissinger will have the biggest test of his career when he steps out in the Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) on Saturday.
The seven-year-old was an exciting prospect before he required throat surgery, and his owners are looking forward to the Lindsey Smith-trained runner to finally realise his potential.
‘’We had him earmarked early on as a really nice prospect, but he went in the wind, so we had to have the tie-back surgery,’’ part-owner Brad Spicer told Racing.com.
‘’So, we’ve been a bit reluctant to take him out any further, just trying to get him to 2000 metres.’’
Spicer said they elected to try Kissinger over further ground at the behest of champion jockey Damien Oliver.
‘’It was on Ollie’s advice,’’ Spicer said. ‘’He rang up Lindsey (Smith) and said he’d been watching the horse and wanted to get on it. So, he won at Bendigo, ran second at Caulfield and then won the other day (Cranbourne).
‘’Ollie seems to have found the key to him. He’s had three rides on him and he should have nearly been undefeated as he had a think at Caulfield (when beaten by Port Philip).
‘’He can be a bit of a tricky animal and obviously you have to ride him accordingly and Ollie seems to be gelling well with him.
‘‘It’s a race we had in our mind for the last couple of months and Lindsey is really keen then to go to the Bagot because he goes so well at Flemington.’’
Spicer said he bought into Kissinger on the advice of Kiwi trainer and former jockey Nigel Tiley, who was downsizing his stable at the time.
‘’Nigel suggested I got a hold of this horse and so we bought half and Nigel stayed in.’’
Spicer has his fingers crosses a shower of rain arrives ahead of the weekend.
‘’If the weather gods were kind, they would put a few drops on the track before then,’’ he said,
Kissinger is on the third line of Pakenham Cup betting with Sportsbet at $7 alongside Good Idea and Sound and behind Persan ($4) and Milford ($5).
Richards happy with first Hong Kong double
Expat New Zealand trainer Jamie Richards was a happy man at Happy Valley on Wednesday after he recorded his first double since training in Hong Kong.
Richards, 33, arrived in Hong Kong in April after a record-breaking career in New Zealand but, after a quiet start, the measured Kiwi had only one win from his first 51 starters.
Victories in the space of five races on Wednesday night by Tronic Mighty and Rattan Kingdom changed all that – and the flush of success was even more enjoyable with Richards’ parents Paul and Leanne, his sister Libby and her partner Cameron watching on at Happy Valley.
“I'm thrilled to get the double tonight. It's great to have the family here and I'm thrilled to get a winner while they're here. They might have to stay a bit longer - they've brought the change of luck,” Richards said.
“The team have been working hard, putting in plenty of hours at the stables, so I'm thrilled for everybody concerned. The owners have been supportive, so hopefully we can start to build a little bit of momentum.
“I fully respect how difficult it is to win a race here in Hong Kong. We haven't had a lot of runners yet and we lack a little bit of quality in the stable.
“It's great to get a win with Rattan Kingdom. Obviously, he's been a bit unlucky, he's drawn a couple of bad barriers. He's been consistent throughout the early part of the season and today he drew a gate and he was able to get the job done for us. Luke gave him a lovely ride, very pleased with the way Luke (Currie) rode him.”
Moroney has a sound chance in Pakenham Cup
Trans-Tasman trainer Michael Moroney will have a two-pronged attack in Saturday’s Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) courtesy of Sound and Milford.
Moroney is on a fact-finding mission with Group One performer Milford, who has only run over 2400m on two occasions – runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and 13th in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m).
The Savabeel gelding heads into Saturday in winning form, having taken out the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last week, and Moroney said his performance this weekend will dictate his racing programme for next year.
“Milford has come through his run well,” Moroney told RSN.
“He had that one placing in the New Zealand Derby and other than that his other mile and a half races have been inconclusive.
“We thought that we would give it a try now while he is up and fit so we can figure out what to do with him in autumn, winter, or next spring.”
Evergreen galloper Sound may be in the twilight of his career, but Moroney said his attitude around the stable belies his age and he expects a better showing from the 10-year-old entire on Saturday following his fifth-placed run in the Gr.2 Zipping Classic (2400m) last Saturday.
“Sound is like a five-year-old stallion, prancing around and carrying on, he is very full of himself,” Moroney said.
“Sound is getting to a stage where is he up to a Tancred (Gr.1, 2400m) or something like that? Possibly not now given his age, so he might as well run now for this sort of money.”