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Racing: Trainers eye joint effort in taking Aussies on across ditch

13 Jul, 2020 7:59pm
 3 minutes to read
Catalyst winning at Ellerslie in January. Photo / supplied.
Catalyst winning at Ellerslie in January. Photo / supplied.
NZ Herald

The trainers of some of New Zealand racing's elite are going to have to work together to try and take on the Aussies this spring.

But first they have to get there.

Some of our biggest trainers met today to discuss the logistics of campaigning their horses in New South Wales and Victoria in coming months with that obviously complicated by the Covid-19 border restrictions.

Almost every trainer who has a legitimate top group one horse ready to race in six weeks would love to have them in the two main racing states of Australia where they can often race for 10 times as much as they would here on the same Saturday.


And then there are the mega carrots of The Everest and Golden Eagle in NSW and Victoria's triple crown of the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.

The problem isn't as much getting the horses there but the staff to look after them, with anybody actually allowed to enter Australia requiring 14 days in quarantine.

"We have spoken to the racing officials over there about all the logistics and we are coming with with a plan," says Pike.

"So the Trainers Association here is going to ask all trainers who think they have a horses or horses they want to send to Australia to come back to us with whether a staff member would need to go and we can apply to get those people in, with quarantine of course.

"Then we can approach the racing officials over there with one list of horses and people rather than everybody trying to do it individually."

It will mean trainers having huge trust in their staff as they are unlikely to be able to pop across the Tasman and back for a few days any time soon.


With almost all trainers committed to their far larger teams back home rather than being able to base themselves in Australia for one or two horses, there looks set to be plenty of FaceTiming and video taking at track work time.

One trainer who realises he might have to wave his stable mega star goodbye for a month or two is Clayton Chipperfield with Catalyst.


The electrifying 2000 Guineas winner is coming up beautifully for Chipperfield but his Te Awamutu trainer admits he can't justify 14 days in quarantine each way to take the four-year-old to Sydney so he may work in with Pike.

"It is all up in the air at the moment but he (Catalyst) might go over and team up with Tony's people and hopefully a Trans Tasman bubble comes in and I can get over there to see him later," says Chipperfield.

"But I am thrilled with how he has come up. He has filled out even more and furnished. He looks like a real racehorse now."

Catalyst is being aimed at the A$500,000 The Shorts at Randwick on September 19 followed by the A$500,000 Silver Eagle at Randwick on October 10 with his ultimate goal being the A$7.5million Golden Eagle at Rosehill on October 31.

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