The assault of New Zealand-trained raiders on the autumn – winter features down under continues on the Gold Coast this weekend including the acceptance of Military Move for the 2014 AD Hollindale Stakes.
The Shaun Ritchie-trained Volksraad seven-year-old is one of the veterans in this year’s $358,000 Group 2 Wimmers Soft Drinks A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m), but the lower than standard class of the nominations has given their Cambridge-based trainer hope.
The standout AD Hollindale nominee this year is Guy Walter’s triple Group 1 winning Stratum mare Streama who was last seen running fourth to Diamond Drille in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes over the Randwick mile on April 19.
Aside from her however the line-up looks weaker than previous years meaning Ritchie rates his Hong Kong-performed galloper a credible chance.
“We are under no illusions that he is getting on now but apart from Streama I don’t think it is a stellar Hollindale,” Ritchie told AAP.
Military Move started their career in New Zealand during the 2009 – 10 season including their New Zealand Derby win as a three-year-old.
They then spent the following few seasons in Hong Kong with master John Moore where they failed to reach the same heights.
The gelding returned home last year and has been performing well, most recently finishing second behind Soriano in the Group 2 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) on March 29 earning them a trip down under.
“He has been a wonderful horse to us and the Hollindale will tell us where he fits,” Ritchie said.
They are one of 28 New Zealand horses booked to fly from Auckland to Brisbane this Thursday evening, a number of those forming Ritchie’s assault on the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“The Kiwis are keen to get some more of the money. Besides it’s a lot warmer in Queensland than the Waikato,” he said.
Along with Military Move on Saturday he will also start his three-year-old Gullotine filly Chop Chop on AD Hollindale Stakes Day.
Fourth in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) behind Miss Mossman last time out, Chop Chop runs against her own kind in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m).
Ritchie is hoping her form here will be better than Miss Mossman’s however as their last start conqueror has failed to fire on Aussie turf running last in the Vinery Stud and then second last when 42 lengths off the winner, fellow Kiwi Rising Romance in the Australian Oaks at Randwick.
Rising Romance’s maiden win was over 1400m at Dargaville last November, a race Chop Chop ran just a nose away second in, so her form is good.
Her major goal is of course the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) on May 31.
“Chop Chop has the right form lines around her in New Zealand so I’d like to think she can be very competitive and go on to the Queensland Oaks,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie also brings over this week a 2014 Queensland Derby hope, Glorious Lad.
The official AD Hollindale Stakes 2014 field is due for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
In the meantime why not treat yourself to a $250 bonus bet on the house at Ladbrokes.com.au by opening your new account with this Aussie-loved bookie.