The challenging conditions at Hastings on Saturday proved insurmountable for the Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained runner, as the $1.40 favorite finished fifth in the Group 2 Hawke's Bay Guineas (1400m).
Bergerson, faced with a fatigued horse after the race, decided to redirect their focus, opting to send the talented son of Satono Aladdin for a spell and gearing up for the $1.5 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) in January.
Reflecting on the tough conditions at Hastings, Bergerson stated, “The track didn't suit, and Opie (Bosson, jockey) said he never felt comfortable. It (track) was quite loose, and he couldn't accelerate on that ground. I looked at him in the tie-ups after the race, and he was pretty knackered.”
With Tokyo Tycoon leaving feed over the weekend and weighing lighter than usual, Bergerson outlined the plan ahead, saying, “He is going to go out for a spell. We are going to give him three weeks out in the grass and let him recover, and then just aim him for the Karaka Million at the end of January.”
The Karaka Million had always been the primary goal for Tokyo Tycoon, with consideration for the 2000 Guineas arising only recently when suitable return flights between Auckland and Christchurch became available.
Bergerson explained, “It was always going to be a bit of a task trying to get him there (2000 Guineas). When he first came in, we were always going to have to look after him and mind him pretty well because he is not the biggest and there is not a lot to come and go on him.”
Despite initial hopes fueled by available flights, Tokyo Tycoon's bid for the 2000 Guineas is no longer viable, shifting the focus firmly to the Karaka Million.
Bergerson concluded, “But it's not to be, and the Karaka Million is the goal now.”
“Unfortunately, Campionessa picked up a bit of a bug on the way home and had a bit of a temperature on Sunday morning. She is going to go for a short break as well,” said Bergerson.
Despite the hiccup, there is optimism for Aromatic, who finished seventh in the Arrowfield Stud Plate.
“Aromatic is really good, it was just a pity that she got knocked over at the top of the straight.
“I thought she was strong enough through the line, and we are going to have a crack at the 2000m (Group 1 Livamol Classic, 2040m).
“The step up in trip will really suit her.”