Chris Gibbs and Donna Logan promise to have a strong hand in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) despite losing a genuine contender.
Hello It’s Me has been withdrawn from next month’s Vodafone-sponsored classic and the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m), but fellow filly Danzdanzdance remains on target for Ellerslie along with Endowment and Tavlin.
The lightly-tried Hello It’s Me has won two of her five starts, including the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at her last appearance on New Year’s Day.
“She’s had a lot of niggly things, feet issues and stone bruises and she missed too much work,” Gibbs said. “We’ve decided it’s best to stop and reassess things later.
“It’s a shame because we thought she would be very, very competitive. She’s got a ton of ability so we may head toward Brisbane with her or Sydney’s a chance.”
Gibbs confirmed that the Derby and not the Oaks will be Danzdanzdance’s top priority.
“We think that’s the better race, the big trip to Trentham isn’t for her, and she went so well at Ellerslie the other day,” he said.
Danzdanzdance came from the back of the field to finish sixth in the Karaka 3YO Classic (1600m) off the back of her maiden win at Ruakaka.
“She’ll go to the Avondale Guineas next, hopefully she gets in, otherwise she’ll run in a Rating 65 over 2100m,” Gibbs said.
“We’re happy with Endowment and he’ll go to the Guineas and we’ll probably roll the dice with Tavlin as well.”
Endowment has won one of his four starts and two runs back he finished runner-up in the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) while Tavlin is also lightly-tried.
Gibbs was happy enough with the Tavistock gelding’s closing 600m from the tail of the field when unplaced in Tuesday’s Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m). – NZ Racing Desk.