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Like many trainers in New Zealand, New Plymouth horseman Allan Sharrock has his fingers crossed that the country drops back to Alert Level 3 on Saturday so racing can resume.
Racing ceased upon New Zealand’s entry into COVID-19 Alert Level 4 at 11:59pm on Tuesday and will not resume until at least Saturday.
While the country awaits a decision from the New Zealand Government on Friday as to whether there will be an extension to the original three-day Alert Level 4 timeframe, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing have programmed races this weekend should restrictions be eased in this time.
Two thoroughbred meetings have been scheduled for Saturday, including New Plymouth where Sharrock has three entrants for his home meeting.
Collinstreet is set to tackle the New Plymouth ITM Interprovincial (1600m) where he has been lumbered with the top weight of 60kg.
The seven-year-old gelding will get some weight relief courtesy of apprentice jockey Callum Jones’ three-kilogram claim which Sharrock said will be a massive assist for his charge.
“That takes him three (kilograms) off the minimum, so that is going to put him in the race at the right weight,” Sharrock said.
The son of Bachelor Duke had been in good form prior to his ninth placing at Otaki last start and Sharrock said punters can forget that run.
“Just disregard his last run at Otaki, it was just one of those tracks that didn’t suit him,” Sharrock said.
“He has always raced well at New Plymouth and these heavy tracks are all different types of heavy. I just don’t think he coped at all with Otaki.”
Earlier on the card, stablemate London Express will tackle the ITM Winstone (1300m) where she too will get some weight relief from her 61.5kg impost with three-kilogram claiming apprentice Bailey Rogerson aboard.
“Bailey has only had two rides for me for two wins,” Sharrock said. “It was hard to find another four-kilo claimer and she has done a good job on Justaskme and Tavi Mac, so I have elected to put her on.
“London Express races really well at New Plymouth and two starts back she ran second in a Listed race (Opunake Cup, 1400m) with 57kg on her back.
“She will be competitive, but with the likes of Diogenes at 51kg, that is going to make it hard for her with 58.5kg, but we will do the best we can.”
Sharrock’s trio of runners will be completed by last start winner Penelope Cruise in the ITM Makita 2000.
“I couldn’t have her any fitter,” Sharrock said. “She is tough and does like it very Heavy, which it is going to be on Saturday. I can see her racing really well again.”