OTI Racing’s Terry Henderson struck Classic Group One glory earlier this year with Vin De Dance and he’s hoping to have another quality Kiwi three-year-old on his hands in the form of Redwood gelding Lumberjack.
The Chris Gibbs and Michelle Bradley-trained runner has been nominated for the Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on the Syndicate managers behest and his Ruakaka trainers hope to have stablemate Call Me Murphy join him in the October feature.
The pair finished third in their respective last starts, at Ruakaka on August 12, but Gibbs said the race might come up too soon for his runners.
“We’re probably behind the eight-ball a bit with those two boys,” he said. “Terry Henderson owns half of Lumberjack and it was sort of his idea.
“That’s why we also put Call Me Murphy in because we thought the horse is following a similar programme, so we chucked him in there as well, because you just never know.
“We were probably hoping one of them would have won at their second start, but I think they both had excuses not to have won.
“They are both still on target, but it might come around a little bit too soon, but we certainly haven’t put a line through it yet.”
Their spring campaigns will be assessed after both geldings compete over 1400m on their home track next month.
“They will both head towards the maiden 1400 at Ruakaka on September 15,” Gibbs said. “That still gives us a chance to get there and we’ll see how we go from there.”
Gibbs also part-owns Call Me Murphy, having purchased him out of Lenach Lodge’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Festival Yearling Sale draft for $17,000.
“I bought him at the sales just for myself really,” he said. “But Dad rang up straight away and he’s always been good. Some friends of his are involved and I’ve put a couple of friends of mine in and that’s how we ended up with the syndicate we’ve got. Michelle, who is now in partnership with me, also has five per cent.
Lumberjack and Call Me Murphy have had a freshen-up after their last-start placings and will be back in the barn on Wednesday in preparation for their next start.
“They are both due to come back from the paddock tomorrow,” Gibbs said. “They are really fit, they had been out for ten days in the paddock and now they’ll come back in and be set for that three-year-old race.
“We just need to get that out of the way and see where we go to from there.” – NZ Racing Desk