Shelley Hale will leave it to Grant Cooksley to make the call on which of her stable representatives he will ride in the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on Saturday week.
Hale plans to tackle the weight-for-age event with Close Up and his brother Seventh Up.
Cooksley has been the regular rider of both horses and was runner-up on Close Up in last year’s Foxbridge Plate before the pair headed to Hastings to win the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and finish second to Gingernuts in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).
Cooksley got a taste of the Shinko King nine-year-old’s readiness for this month’s Foxbridge Plate when fourth on him over 1200m at Te Rapa last Saturday with the Group One winner carrying the hefty impost of 63.5kg.
“He went really well,” Cooksley said. “He’ll take a lot of improvement out of that. If I could have got out further on him in the straight he could have finished a bit closer.”
Cooksley also tested out Seventh Up last Saturday with an exhibition gallop and was equally pleased with the Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) winner.
“He quickened from the half-mile and was doing it well,” Cooksley said. “I’m happy to ride either one in the Foxbridge.”