Mike Breslin’s Kiwi raider Ringo could stay on in Australia for a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign depending on their performance in the 2014 Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington this weekend.
The Awapuni-based Breslin confirmed the Fastnet Rock gelding would accept for Saturday’s $150,000 Listed VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) but that their post-race plans were up in the air.
The rising five-year-old has a number of options on the cards including staying in Melbourne to race on into the spring targeting some better Victorian races over the coming months.
They could also go home to race in some of the top events at home later in the year or return to NZ before coming back down under for a 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
“He could come back here (to New Zealand) and run in good races early in the season,” Breslin told AAP.
“He could also stay in Australia and run in Melbourne again but he could also go for a break and come back for the Sydney autumn next year but that would be a long-range plan.”
A winner of five of their 11 starts to date, Ringo debuted in Australian last start on June 28.
On the back of a big three length win over 1350m first-up in New Zealand in May, they came to Melbourne and ran an eye catching second behind Akavoroun, Ciaron Maher’s four-year-old also in the mix for the Final on Saturday, in a Winter Championship heat over 1410m.
That proved them worthy of a shot at the black-type final this weekend where they will be looking for their maiden stakes victory enjoying a 1.5kg weight relief from their run in the heat.
“He was a bit above himself first-up and raced a bit fresh,” Breslin said.
“That may have just caused him to peak on his run late in the race but he’s definitely got the improvement in him.”
They have twice been tested at Group level when ninth and fifth respectively in a Group 2 mile and Group 3 1400m event last season before enjoying a five month break.
On Saturday Dwayne Dunn retains the ride on Ringo.
There were 22 Winter Championship Final nominations taken this year with the final field due for release shortly.
Other notable entries include Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner with the 60kg top weight, four from Chris Waller’s stables and three for Mick Price whose stables Ringo has been staying during their trip down under.
Price’s hopefuls in the race are his Heat seven winner Fast And Free followed by Dany The Fox and Eximius who ran third and fourth respectively behind their stablemate.
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