Matamata trainers Peter and Jess Brosnan bypassed last Saturday’s Hastings meeting with their capable chaser Old Countess, but the mare is still on a Great Northern path.
Old Countess was purposely absent from the line-up for the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m), won by Perry Mason, however she will be back in action in the open 3500m steeplechase at Te Aroha on Sunday.
“Hastings was always going to be too dry for her,” Peter Brosnan said. “She’ll be better suited at Te Aroha and after that we have a couple of options, either the Wellington Steeplechase or go to Te Rapa for an easier option.
“The Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m) at Ellerslie in September is the one we’re after and she can run in the Pakuranga Hunt Cup (4900m) beforehand.”
Old Countess won last year’s Wanganui Steeplechase (4100m) before being runner-up to Perry Mason in the Pakuranga Hunt Cup, which was run at Te Aroha, as was the Great Northern Steeplechase in which the daughter of Zed finished fifth to Chocolate Fish.
“The Northern being at Ellerslie is going to suit her better than it did at Te Aroha,” Brosnan said.
“We’ve won the Great Northern Hurdles (4190m) with Southern Countess (in 2011) and it would be great to get the Great Northern Steeples, too.”
Brosnan’s father, Sam, also won a Great Northern Hurdles, with Mark’s Gold in 1981, and finished second in the 1978 Great Northern Steeplechase with Marji’s Gold.