The master trainer behind the late, great Hot Danish, Les Bridge is set to take over the preparation of Nothin’ Leica Dane gelding Leica Larrikin for their Spring Carnival campaign next season.
Five-year-old Leica Larrikin has been under the training of his part-owner Richard Freyer in Corowa, but will be transferred to Bridge’s Randwick stables in July to be bought back for the spring.
Leica Larrikin hasn’t raced since last year’s Spring Racing Carnival, the horse unable to bring their strong autumn – winter form through when they failed to finish better than fifth in their three black-type starts in both Melbourne and Sydney.
The middle distance galloper was also given their maiden elite level assignment last spring, Leica Larrikin far from disgraced when finishing ninth beaten just three and a half lengths by winner Captain Sonador in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
Bridge is a multiple Group 1 winning trainer who has seen success in great races including the Melbourne Cup (Kensei, 1987); Golden Slipper (Sir Dapper, 1983); and more recently in the Doomben 10,000 and All Aged Stakes with the now-departed Hot Danish.
The dedicated horseman is expected to target this year’s Epsom Handicap with Leica Larrikin giving the classy horse their chance for improvement in the $500,000 Sydney Spring Carnival feature on October 1, 2011.
Following the Epsom, Leica Larrikin is likely to travel to Victoria to target Group glory during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Leica Larrikin had one Melbourne Cup Carnival run last year, the horse running a disappointing ninth beating home just one other runner in the Listed Bundaberg Distilling Co. Stakes (1800m) on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington in November.
Since their Cup Carnival flop Lecia Larrikin, a full brother to hapless top grade galloper Leica Falcon, has been spelling at his breeder’s, Alan and Marg Eaton’s, Murwillumbah property.
Marg Eaton said the decision to send Lecia Larrikin to Bridge was based on the horse’s suitability to racing right-handed.
“It’s nothing against Richard Freyer at all,” Eaton said.
“It was a very difficult decision to make and he understands it’s in the horse’s best interests.”
Although Freyer was cordial over the decision, there was the questionable statistic of whether Leica Larrikin was in fact more fitted to the right-handed way of racing when three of their five career wins were racing left-handed at Flemington.
“We just want Leica Larrikin to be trained on the track where he will be predominantly racing this campaign,” Eaton explained.
“The horse has previously had some issues with travelling and we feel he will benefit from being trained on a bigger track.
“Hopefully he will have the same track rider on race days so he can get to know the horse better.
“He is not an easy horse to ride.”