Bonny Lass will end a frustrating last month for her connections when she lines-up in the Group 3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Pukekohe on Saturday.
Trainers Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall were forced to scratch the mare out of the Group 1 Railway (1200m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day after she arrived on course with a stone bruise.
She subsequently missed the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham but is ready to make her return at Saturday’s lucrative twilight meeting.
“She had a really bad stone bruise and walked off the float with it on Railway Day. It was heartbreaking,” Richardson said.
“I am glad I withdrew her because we just wouldn’t have had a racehorse. She has got a heart of gold and the last thing I needed to do was break her heart.
“I would have ideally gone to the Telegraph, but she wasn’t quite right then. She would have been ideally placed there.
“She has got 60 kilos on Saturday, but it is what it is.
“She could be in need of the run, but she is pretty clean-winded. She had a hit-out this morning and Tuesday. She is definitely forward enough. She doesn’t usually need too much.
“We will head from here to Te Rapa for the weight-for-age 1400m (Group 1 BCD Group Sprint).”
Richardson will also line-up Group performer Channel Surfer in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), who he purchased out of Grangewilliam Stud’s 2021 Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $50,000.
“It is nice to have a horse like Channel Surfer in. He is not one of the favoured horses, but he can gallop,” Richardson said.
“It is a thrill for the owners. How many opportunities do you get to race for $1 million?
“He is Group placed three times. He has missed the kick a couple of times and it has certainly cost him a race. Last start he missed the kick and did too much against that field.
“If he runs third or fourth, I’ll be so proud of him.”
Channel Surfer will be ridden by Melbourne-based expat Kiwi jockey Daniel Stackhouse.
“Daniel Stackhouse is a good guy, a good rider, and he has got the Australian experience behind him. It is nice to have him on,” Richardson said.
“It is a very good field. I won it one year with Volpe Veloce (in 2017) and that was a strong field too. She was a super mare. It is a big thrill to win a race like that.”
Meanwhile, Richardson is looking forward to heading to Te Rapa next month where his pride and joy Defibrillate will attempt to make it back-to-back Group One wins in the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) following his Zabeel Classic (2000m) triumph at Pukekohe on Boxing Day.
“He will go straight into the Herbie Dyke,” Richardson said.
“I am very proud of him. He is a good horse. That was probably the thrill of my life in racing, winning the Zabeel Classic.
“I bred him with the McInteers, and they have stuck by me with that mare.
“We race him with a few of my close friends. To breed, train, and own a horse to win a Group One is an incredible feeling.”