Multiple stakes winner Hiflyer will have one more hit-out in Australia in the Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday before returning to New Zealand to tackle feature spring races at Hastings.
The Peter Lock-trained five-year-old has just had the one start in Australia this campaign where he ran fourth in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at the same venue.
“The race wasn’t probably run to suit him,” Lock said. “He had an awkward draw (barrier 1), which didn’t help him. We had to ride him a little more forward than his normal pattern of racing and he stuck on well for fourth.”
Lock is excited to have secured the services of leading jockey Hugh Bowman and is happy with the Tavistock gelding heading into Saturday, but does have concerns about the race distance.
“That’s a huge bonus for us to have him on, we are very lucky to get hold of him,” Lock said.
“The 1500m distance is still a question mark, we would like to be going a little further, but he has definitely improved on his run from the other day. He looks lovely and bright and I’m very happy with him going into the race.”
Lock said he has used this campaign as a test-run for the spring, when he hopes to return to tackle feature races with Hiflyer.
“We are hoping to come back for races like the Toorak later on. We’ll go home and tackle a few nice races and if he comes up and does things right at home then we’ll come back over later in the spring with the nicer races around then.
“He’s done everything right so far, it’s taken him a little while to settle in here and start on the different feed we have over here.
“We’re hoping for bigger and better things this Saturday and if it doesn’t eventuate then we will probably be heading home after the weekend and tackle some nice races at Hastings.”
Meanwhile, stablemate Mr Luigi has been retired after pulling up lame after tailing the field home in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1400m) at Randwick last Saturday.)
“Mr Luigi pulled up a little lame on Saturday after his race and he’s been retired,” Lock said. “Unfortunately he has done a little bit of damage to a tendon, so we have retired him.” – NZ Racing Desk