Cambridge trainer Craig Phelan has his sights set on next month’s Grand National carnival.
Worthiswaitngold has been nominated for the Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) while the progressive Big Mike could also make the trip and Bay Rocker and Nek Minnit have the Hospitality New Zealand Canterbury Grand National Hurdles (4200m) on their radars.
“That’s the plan and we’ll be trying to get some more brownie points with Worthiswaitngold,” Phelan said.
The El Hermano chestnut has won four of his 18 starts and hasn’t raced since he finished fifth at Tauranga last month.
“There’s been no mile races around at his rating,” Phelan said. “I was going to put him in at Te Rapa on Saturday, but it’s probably a bit firm for him.
“We might go down to New Plymouth instead for an 1800m race.
“Big Mike had a couple of weeks off after he won at Ruakaka. It was the perfect opportunity to give him a break and we want to chase some good money with him
“We’re keen to look at Hawke’s Bay as well, maybe the Livamol and I’d love to take him to Sydney at some stage.”
Bay Rocker and Nek Minnit have opportunities at Te Aroha on Friday to bag further travelling money for Riccarton.
“If they’re performing well we’ll look at the lead-up, the Sydenham, and then the National,” Phelan said.
In the meantime, last-start winner Bay Rocker will run in Friday’s Patron Paddy’s Hurdle (3100m) while Nek Minnit, third at his most recent appearance, will contest the Te Aroha Stallion Placement Scheme Hurdle (3100m). – NZ racing Desk.