New Zealand colt, Hoard The Bourbon will have a chance to collect further travelling expenses for a planned trip to Brisbane when his staying qualities are put to the test for the first time on Saturday.
The Stephen Marsh-prepared son of Iffraaj was a most recent winner in age group company at Awapuni and will step out over a middle distance for the first time in the Group 2 Trelawney Stud Championship Stakes (2100m) at Pukekohe Park.
“He certainly did what we had hoped last time out and he is a lovely colt,” the Cambridge trainer said.
Hoard The Bourbon is unbeaten this preparation after successfully returning from a break to post his maiden success at Matamata last month.
“We’re throwing him in at the deep end a bit, going 1400m to a mile and then straight to the 2100m, but we want to get him to the Queensland Derby (Group 1, 2400m).”
All going well, Hoard The Bourbon will be on a plane to Australia later this month with Marsh yet to decide if the classic hope will have any travelling companions.
“We are going to wait until after Saturday before firming up any plans, but he is heading the team at this stage,” he said.
Marsh will also be double handed in the other two black type events at Pukekohe Park with Raposa Rapida and Osaka in the Group 3 Manco Easter Handicap (1600m) and Financier and Shadow Boxer in the Staphanos by Deep Impact Champagne Stakes (1600m).
A brother to the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) winner Volpe Veloce, Raposa Rapida will be heading into unfamiliar distance territory having won up to 1400m and finished midfield over that trip last time out in the Listed Flying Stakes at Awapuni.
“His sectionals were good and he looks like he will appreciate a mile now. I’m happy with him and he gets in with a light weight,” Marsh said.
Stablemate Osaka has fashioned a tidy record with five wins from 15 appearances and overcame an interrupted run to finish fourth when resuming at Rotorua earlier this month.
“I thought his run was good and he’s never really done a lot right-handed, but he did trial up well at Avondale this time in,” Marsh said.
“He gets in on the minimum and he looks much improved from his first-up outing. He’s very good at his best and he will get his chance.”
Financier gave a good account of himself without a lot of luck when he ran fourth on debut at Ruakaka.
“I thought he went well, he just didn’t get much room. It was always the plan if he came through the run well to have him on the quick back-up and then go out for a spell,” Marsh said.
“He did have a pretty soft run and pulled up nicely so we certainly don’t see any harm in running him again.
“He is a lovely colt moving forward. The trip shouldn’t worry him, he’s by Tavistock and first-up it was 1300m so it’s only another 300m, it should be ideal for him.”
Meanwhile, Dissident youngster Shadow Boxer finished fifth at the first time of asking at Avondale where he didn’t help his chances by missing the kick.
“We’re having a real throw at the stumps with him, he looks like a horse that is going to get out over a trip,” Marsh said.
“He’s not there yet, the penny certainly hasn’t dropped, but I can see him attacking the line. The experience will do him good and then he’ll go for a good spell.”