Promising Kiwi galloper Ringo will move to Mick Price’s stables for a shot at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival 2014 staying on in Victoria after their Flemington runs this winter.
The Mike Breslin-trained Fastnet Rock gelding is prepared at Awapuni in New Zealand but will have a stable switch after Saturday looking to secure some black-type success down under this spring.
A winner of five of their 12 starts to date the rising five-year-old has already had two Melbourne runs this time in and will have a third this weekend.
After an impressive three length win first-up at home in a Benchmark 85 over 1340m in late May, Breslin sent them to Australia for the off season.
In their first run they ran a nice second to Akavoroun in heat six of the Winter Championship Series.
Then last Saturday they were three lengths away fifth to the same horse in the Listed Winter Championship Final (1600m) when stepped up to the mile for the first time since last October.
They’ve now been nominated for the $80,000 Internationaler Club Baden Bade Handicap (1600m) back at Flemington this weekend, one of a bumper 38 entries for the mile feature.
Breslin is watching the horse closely this week before making a final decision on whether to run this weekend.
“He looks bright. I just weighed him and he only lost two kilos with that run on Saturday,” Breslin told AAP.
“He still looks very bright in the eye and everything and it was only his third run back in the Winter Championship Final. So I can’t see why he couldn’t back up.
“We won’t run him unless we are happy with him, but that’s the idea.
“He’s only had three runs so I’m not too worried about the seven-day back-up.”
If he does run Ringo will be ridden by Harry Coffey replacing Dwayne Dunn who has been aboard for their past two starts, the apprentice to sue their two kilo claim to bring them down to 58kg.
Yet to win at stakes level, Breslin is hoping that can change as they stay on in Melbourne for the carnival.
“He’s actually going to have a little break here [in Melbourne] and probably come back into work with Mick Price for the spring,” Breslin confirmed.
The other option was to return home to New Zealand to chase the Group 1 races there at Hawke’s Bay, but the better prize money in Australia was the deciding factor.
“He’ll race on Saturday and then Mick can probably give him ten days off and then see how he comes up in the spring in Australia,” Breslin said.
“If he comes up well he will obviously stay racing here.”
If they don’t measure up to the carnival company then they will head back for a shot at some easier Kiwi assignments.
“If he’s not up to black type level in the spring he’ll pop back over to New Zealand and run in some of our Group races around that Christmas period or a bit earlier,” Breslin said.
To get behind Ringo throughout their spring preparation, visit Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account with the online bookie rewarding new depositing players with a $250 bonus welcome bet!