Matamata trainer Glenn Old will have solid chances at two separate venues on Saturday, but he will head to New Plymouth to watch Our King Sway in the battle of the Greys.
The Shinko King eight-year-old will line-up in the Powerworx Greys (1400m) and his trainer his hoping third time’s a charm after Our King Sway finished fourth in 2016 and runner-up in last year’s contest.
The stakes-winner ran third fresh-up in the JRA Trophy (1400m) at Te Aroha earlier this month and his trainer believes the current Dead6 track conditions will be ideal for his runner come Saturday.
“It was a great run first-up, we’re really happy with him,” Old said. “He’s 100 per cent ready for this week, so hopefully he is good enough to get up.
“In his first year (in the race) it was a mile on a heavy11 track and he ran on late and last year it was on a heavy10 and he got beaten by a nose. But this year the track will really suit him.”
Old believes Our King Sway is a big chance in Saturday’s race and is eyeing a tilt at the Listed Matamata Cup (1600m) next month.
“It’s a handy field, Stratocaster looks like he will be hard to beat. We’re claiming three off (with apprentice jockey Darren Danis), so that will be good.
“We’ll balance him up earlier and let him get home late. He’s really fit, the best I have had him for a long time, so I would be very surprised if he wasn’t close.
“If he goes well enough we’ll got to the Matamata Cup a couple of weeks later.”
Meanwhile, on the same day Old will line-up Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) hopeful Bizzwinkle in the Iconic Sunday Markets @ Avondale (2200m) at Avondale.
The stakes-placed five-year-old finished unplaced in the Reliable Man Trophy (1600m) fresh-up at Hastings and Old said Bizzwinkle will appreciate the step-up in distance on Saturday.
“It was a bit sharp for him, a mile down there in Hastings, so we can forget that run. He should be more competitive over 2200m, he’s a big dour stayer,” he said.
“All going well, we’re going to try and get him to Riccarton for the New Zealand Cup. We’ll just see how he goes on Saturday.
“We have got options, there is another race at Matamata and Hawera on October 13, there’s the Feilding Cup at the end of October, or we might take him down and give him a lead-up run before the Cup, we’re not quite sure yet.”
Old believes both of his horses will put in good performances on Saturday, but he has elected to head to Taranaki where he thinks Our King Sway is the better chance of his two runners. – NZ Racing Desk