Blue Breeze to tackle Counties Cup first-up

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Blue Breeze

Blue Breeze would have suited a blue rinse earlier this spring with the way he performed in Australia, according to trainer Allan Morley. The Group 1 performer tailed home the field in each of his two starts in New South Wales and Morley said he couldn’t find anything amiss with his stable star after the runs. “He was very disappointing in Australia. He seemed to me like when you take your grandmother away for a nice weekend and all she wants to do is go home,” he quipped. “But the thing about it was he stopped so badly in the straight each time. We have done a lot of tests and checked his bloods and heart, and sent those reports to the stipes. We have done everything we are supposed to.”

The six-year-old gelding has thrived since his return home and Morley said his sub-par performance remains a mystery. “He has looked a million dollars since he has been home and he has been working the house down, probably better than he ever has. “He spent about 10 days in the paddock when he got home, but he likes to be around the stables, so we don’t tend to send him away much when he spells. “He likes coming in and seeing the grandkids, he’s such a cool horse.”

The son of Bullbars had a pleasing season last term, placing in the Group 3 Counties Cup (2100m) before finishing runner-up in the Group 3 Avondale Cup (2400m) and running third in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m). Morley is keen to follow a similar path this season, with Blue Breeze’s first assignment being this Saturday’s Ssangyong Counties Cup.

While pleased with the way Blue Breeze has been in the lead-up to Saturday, Morley admits he is uncharacteristically nervous ahead of the Counties feature. “I don’t usually get nervous before races but this time I am a bit nervous because he went so badly in Australia and we couldn’t really find out 100 percent why,” he said. “My expectations are lowered a bit because he is not a very big horse and he is going to have to carry some weight, which is always a bit of a worry with him because he only weighs about 460 kilos. “He doesn’t want to be carrying any more than 55 or 56 kilos and it looks from the nominations that he will have to carry more than that.”

Morley took some confidence out of Blue Breeze’s recent 1200m trial at Avondale and maintains his belief that he is a better horse compared to last year. “I think he is pretty close to being ready, but we would have liked to have had a race or two into him before the Counties Cup, but that’s just how it is,” he said. “I am as happy as I can be with him at this stage, with a couple of asterisks alongside it, but I think he is a better horse this year.”

While Morley is eyeing a return to the Group 3 Skycity Waikato Cup (2400m) at Te Rapa next month, he said he will take a wait and see approach after Saturday’s assignment. “We might go back to Waikato, he doesn’t go quite as good the other way around, but when you have a horse like him it becomes very hard to find a race for them,” he said.

Morley is also looking forward to the future with his young team, which includes a couple of Blue Breeze’s siblings. “I have got another nice filly called Paisley. I have given her one trial and she won that very nicely. She is a nice horse to look forward to in the not too distant future,” he said. “I also have a half-brother by Showcasing to Blue Breeze and he is halfway through his first prep and I have a two-year-old full-sister, who is beautiful. “She is going to be my Derby horse, she is just gorgeous. She has got the same temperament as Blue Breeze, but she is twice as big.”

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