Savabeel siblings make a pleasing return

Hasahalo winning the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).  - Race Images South
Hasahalo winning the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).

Race Images South

Savabeel siblings Hasahalo and Hasabro made a pleasing return to the track on Tuesday for Ardmore trainer Stephen McKee at the Cambridge trials.

Group One-winning mare Hasahalo hasn’t been sighted on raceday since her unplaced run in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) last year and McKee is keen to make up for lost time with his mare.

“Hasahalo hasn’t raced for about 11 months now, apart from a trial in the spring,” McKee said. 

“I am very happy with the way she finished off her trial. She went nice and felt good for Sam (Spratt, jockey).”

McKee said Hasahalo will likely make her raceday return over the Auckland Cup carnival, with an eye towards Australia over winter.

“She’ll probably race at the Cup carnival at Ellerslie and we will just assess her from there as to which way we go,” he said. 

“She has missed nearly a year, so she’ll be able to race somewhere in Australia right through the winter. 

“Queensland is a possibility and we have nominated her for a couple in Sydney as well, so we’ll just see how her form is in these early stages.”

Hasahalo’s full-brother Hasabro, who was on a path towards the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m) in the spring, also made a return to the track on Tuesday where he finished unplaced in his 800m heat.

“I am really happy with him,” McKee said. “He hasn’t raced since Geelong in late October. 

“He just had a bit of a leg injury that day, so he has had to bide his time. He has come back well, it was only a half-mile trial and the day out has done him well.”

McKee is unsure of what path he will take with the three-year-old colt and hasn’t ruled out a potential Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) tilt with his charge. 

“We are probably a bit behind schedule, although the Brisbane carnival could be okay,” he said. 

“We are in the same position as we were before (in the spring), we have to get a rattle on as far as wins and stake money go.” – NZ Racing Desk


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