Mixed fortunes for Connors

Raymond Connors and Max - Trish Dunell
Raymond Connors and Max

Trish Dunell

It’s been a good news, bad news period for Wanganui trainer Raymond Connors.

His well-performed jumper Wise Men Say and talented flat galloper She’s Poppy are in fine form for future engagements, but on the down side their stablemate Max won’t race again until next year.

The Waikato Steeplechase (3900m) winner didn’t pull up well following his run for sixth in the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m).

“He jarred up a bit, I thought it may have been a tendon, but fortunately it’s not,” Connors said.

“We could carry on, but there wouldn’t be much left when he was ready to go so he’s finished for the winter. We’ll have him back early for next year.”

Max is relatively lightly-raced for an eight-year-old with the son of Gallant Guru winning six of his 23 starts, four over the big fences and one apiece over hurdles and on the flat.

Meanwhile, Wise Men Say’s future will be decided after he runs in Saturday’s Grant Plumbing Wellington Steeplechase (5500m).

“I’m probably leaning toward the Grand National at Christchurch, but we’ll see what happens at the weekend first,” Connors said.

The change of venue of this year’s Irvine’s Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m), which Wise Men Say won last year, is swaying Connors.

“If it was at Ellerslie he’d go there, but the track may be a bit good at Te Rapa for him,” he said.

One member of the stable who will definitely be heading south is She’s Poppy, currently the $6 equal favourite with Deals In Heels for the Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on August 4.

“She won’t run again before then, she’s on target,” Connors said.

She’s Poppy won the Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup (1550m) two starts back before she was a close second in the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes (1590m). – NZ Racing Desk.


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