Cambridge trainers David and Emma-Lee Browne are on track for an Australian double.
The husband and wife team bagged the first leg on Sunday when Monarch Chimes furthered his jumping career with victory over the big fences at Pakenham and stablemate Belle du Nord will run in Adelaide this Saturday in the Gr.3 Schweppervescence Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville.
The winner of three of his four hurdle starts at home, Monarch Chimes headed to Victoria after three flat runs and won a steeplechase trial at Cranbourne before his successful raceday debut over 3200m in the hands of Richard Cully.
“He was ready to go, although he was a little bit on the fresh side,” Emma-Lee Browne said. “He’s done really well since he’s been here and he just loves jumping.
“The run will definitely improve him. He’ll go to the Brierley Steeplechase next on the first day at Warrnambool and he’ll have a trial there in between times and that will help him.
“Obviously, the Grand Annual is the big one but we think that might be a year too soon for him. It’s a long way (5500m) and 33 jumps might just be a bit too much for him at this stage.”
Monarch Chimes’ Group One-performed stablemate Belle du Nord has progressed well since her solid run for fifth from a wide barrier in the Listed Laelia Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville.
“It was a really good effort from a tricky draw, they weren’t making up much ground on the day so we were very happy with her,” Browne said.
“Zac Spain will ride her again, we were pleased with how he rode her the other day, and safely through Saturday the Oaks is on the radar.”
Belle du Nord is likely to return home for a break after the Gr.1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) on May 5. – NZ Racing Desk.