Matamata trainer Glenn Old is set to pass on his top stayer Bizzwinkle to Ballarat trainer Patrick Payne, but he believes he could have found another potential staying star in his stable.
Old produced the easiest of winners at Te Rapa last Saturday when Super Hoof raced away to an eight and a quarter-length maiden win over 1600m in the hands of apprentice Jasmine Fawcett. It was the third start for Super Hoof and Old feels the four-year-old son of Cape Blanco has the ability to work through the grades and maybe get an opportunity to emulate Bizzwinkle in the Group 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton in November.
Bizzwinkle provided Old with one of his major highlights as a trainer when taking last year’s New Zealand Cup, the occasion being right up there with the Matamata horseman’s best win, with Our Famous Eve in the 2013 Group 2 Japan Trophy (1600m) at Tauranga. “He’s the same sort of horse as Bizzwinkle, but has a bit more speed,” Old said. “He’ll go back to Te Rapa on July 8 for a Rating 65 2100m and if he wins a couple more I’ll set him for the New Zealand Cup.’’
Super Hoof is owned by Hong Kong Real Estate agent Sam Wong, who purchased him from the Cambridge Stud draft at the 2016 Select Yearling Sale at Karaka for $110,00 and re-offered him at the Ready To Run Sale, at which he failed to meet his reserve. From the family of dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year Fairy King Prawn, Super Hoof began his career with Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh. “He went sore and I ended up getting him,’’ Old said. “The owner planned to get him to Hong Kong, but he’s got bad knees and that has held him back. But it’s good for me. He was a bit claustrophobic to start with, but we’ve taken him along quietly and he’s always shown ability.’’
Super Hoof won his first trial, at Taupo in August last year, then did well in his debut over 1800m on the same track for second to subsequent Group 3 City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) winner and Group 3 Wellington Cup (3200m) third placegetter Prince Jabeel. “He was sore after that so he had a good break then won a trial at Taupo and it was just too heavy for him when he ran at New Plymouth,” Old said. “We knew if he handled it on Saturday he could win, but I didn’t think he’d win that easily. He was just a tick outside the time the open horses ran over the 1600m and he wasn’t pushed.’’
Meanwhile, Old is hopeful Bizzwinkle can return to his best when he heads to Australia. “He had a break after the Wellington Cup and he’s been back in since mid-March,’’ Old said. “He did well with the spell and I’m just working him along quietly. “The plan is to trial him at Te Rapa in July then send him over to Melbourne in early August and leave him with Patrick Payne. He can mix his work with some jumping and get him ready for the staying races. There are plenty of them over there for him. “I don’t know if he’s good enough, but if he does well he could have a go at the Geelong Cup (Group 3, 2400m). There’s also a 2800m race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day that could suit him. He’s not up to the Melbourne Cup class.’’
With Group 3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) winner Our King Sway retired and Bizzwinkle being Melbourne- bound, Old’s focus on the homefront is on Super Hoof, while he also rates the chances of Hay Tiger and other younger members of his squad. “Hay Tiger will run at Hastings at the end of June and if he gets a slow track he should be hard to beat,’’ Old said. “It was just too heavy for him at Auckland (when fourth). He could become a good stayer.”
Old has a racing team of a half-dozen with the rest of the 20-odd horses in training being prepared for the Asian market. “My job is to get them up and trialling and ready to be sent up to either Hong Kong, Singapore or Macau,’’ he said. “I’ve got a couple, one by Ghibellines and the other by Nadeem, ready to go up to Macau on Sunday.’’ Old also does some pre-training for champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller and one of those through his hands is Kolding, who won the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.