A hit-out at Ellerslie on Monday morning will put the final piece of the puzzle in place for Australian raider Neptune’s Spear who is set to tackle the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie next Saturday.
Trainer Liam Birchley is pleased with how the Super Easy colt has settled in to his new environment since arriving in the country last Tuesday and is keen to have him get his first exposure to the tricky Ellerslie circuit before raceday.
“He travelled over well and has thrived since he has been here,” Birchley said.
“The chance to have a look around Ellerslie is a real bonus and one we are keen to take.
“He can have a good hit-out there which will top him off nicely for the race.”
Birchley is no stranger to successfully bringing horses to Ellerslie for the $1m two-year-old feature having scored with Sister Havana in 2010 and Hardline in 2015 while Sarge In Charge was runner-up in 2009.
“We have had some luck in the race and we’re always on the look-out for horses we think will suit,” he said.
“Neptune’s Spear is one we identified early on and then we have just tried to provide an opportunity for him to earn his way into the field.”
Successful on debut at Doomben in November after leading throughout over 1050m, Neptune’s Spear finished runner-up at the same venue earlier in the month to book his ticket to Auckland.
“He is naturally a very fast horse as he showed when he won his first start,” Birchley said.
“I’ve actually tried to run him in behind in a couple of jump-outs at home which hasn’t really worked out as he has been too fast for the ones he’s gone up against.
“I would hope he can show that speed here, but it could all come down to the barrier draw.
“Barriers are crucial to races like this one so we will be hoping he can draw well and get a track to suit.”
The barrier draw for the race will be conducted at the Karaka sale-ground at 11am on Wednesday.
A win by Neptune’s Spear would be a feather in the cap of his sire, the Hallmark Stud-based Super Easy, who finished fourth in his attempt on the race in 2011 before going on to enjoy an outstanding career in Singapore where he won 14 of his 20 starts and was crowned Singapore Horse of the Year in 2012.
Super Easy will be represented at the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale with six individuals in Book 2 and a further two in Book 3. – NZ Racing Desk