The immediate future for Hasabro has been locked in, but the longer-term options for the genuine son of Savabeel is cause for consideration for connections.
Trained by Andrew Carston for Albert Bosma’s Go Racing syndication company, the six-year-old will run in Saturday’s Listed Avon City Ford Easter Cup (1600m) on his home track at Riccarton ahead of the Group 3 Coca Cola Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m).
Hasabro has won eight races, including multiple black-type successes, and has risen to a prohibitive place in the handicap with placement in suitable races becoming increasingly difficult.
“I’m in constant contact with Albert regarding that and that’s the reason we brought him home for the Gold Cup at weight-for-age, that’s his main aim,” Carston said.
“Saturday is not ideal as he’s got 5kg more than any horse in the race, but I am really happy with him and he’s probably earned his rating to be fair.”
The Queensland winter carnival is one option, although targets there have yet to be seriously looked at.
“I am a little bit mindful of the preparation he has already had, he’s been up for a while and I will be guided by his next two runs,” Carston said.
“Queensland is still definitely on the table, he’s won at 1200m to a mile for me so he’s pretty versatile, and we’ll see what happens.”
Hasabro will carry 61kg on Saturday and has already won twice this campaign under 60kg and goes into the race off the back of a strong effort for fourth in the Group 1 Otaki WFA Classic (1600m).
“He just missed away and he ended up in the worst part of the track, but his run had plenty of merit and we were very happy,” Carston said.
“We brought him home for a freshen-up with 10 or 12 days in the paddock with these two races in mind.”
The stable will also be represented in the Easter Cup by Pullyoursocksup, who finished sixth at her most recent appearance in the Group 3 South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).
“She definitely deserves her place in the field and could do with a shower or two of rain, but she gets in on the minimum and has a good barrier and that helps a lot,” Carston said.
“If she was to run in the top three then the bit of black type would be perfect for her. Her last run was good on a firm track from a wide gate so it was as good as I could expect.”
Carston will also be double-handed in the other feature event on the card, the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m) with Shameless Tart and Taimate Diva to front up.
“Shameless Tart has got the runs on the board as she has been around the mark all season. The other one is an up-and-coming filly, although I think she will appreciate 2000m more than a mile,” Carston said.
Shameless Tart finished runner-up in the Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m) three runs back and has turned in two solid subsequent performances. Taimate Diva was a course and distance winner in February and fourth at Wingatui in her following appearance.
Meanwhile, Carston is hoping Milford Sound can get back on track this preparation although he may not kick off in Saturday’s Birchfield Glass & Glazing Handicap (1400m).
“I’m just not sure whether he will start and it will depend a bit on what sort of weather we get, but I’m not in a rush to run him,” Carston said.
Milford Sound finished runner-up last term in the Listed Southland Guineas (1600m) before breaking his maiden and then headed north for a two-start campaign.
The son of Ocean Park ran second in the Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni and third in the Group 2 Championship Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie, but failed to frank that form earlier this term.
“I gave him a good spell after nothing went right in the spring at all and I think he likes rain-affected ground,” Carston said.