Dual stakes winner Von Tunzelman will step out for the first time for South Auckland trainers Moira and Kieran Murdoch when he contests the Harold Tuson Memorial Greys (1400m) at New Plymouth on Saturday.
Formerly trained in Cambridge by Roger James and Robert Wellwood, his connections are hoping a change of scenery will rejuvenate the seven-year-old son of Zabeel. “He came to us from Roger because he was struggling a bit at Cambridge with his age,” Moira Murdoch said. “He goes to the beach every day. The older horses love a change of scenery it gives them a new lease on life, hopefully.”
Von Tunzelman has had two trials heading into Saturday and Murdoch has been satisfied with both outings. “I was really pleased with his trials,” she said. “I thought he showed a bit of edge for an old guy and we have been very happy with him since.”
With the New Plymouth track rated a Soft9 on Wednesday, Murdoch is hoping for improvement in the surface ahead of Saturday, however she is not holding her breath with rain forecast for the rest of the week. “I would like the track to improve, but the weather doesn’t look too good down there,” she said.
Rosie Myers will take the ride aboard Von Tunzelman who will carry 60kg and jump from barrier six in the 1400m feature. “It’s quite a lot to lump on a soft track, but I think he will give some cheek there at some stage of the race,” Murdoch said. “1400m is short of his best distance, but he will run a nice 1400m fresh.”
Murdoch said Von Tunzelman’s performance on Saturday will help pave a path for the rest of his preparation. “We will just look for a nice mile somewhere, hopefully on a better surface,” she said. “We will just see what he wants to do. At his age he has been there and done that and he will tell us what he is interested in doing.”
Murdoch will also line-up Polzeath in the Seaton Park (1400m). The seven-year-old gelding will also resume on Saturday and Murdoch couldn’t be happier with the son of Pentire heading into the race. “Polzeath would prefer a drier track, but he is very well. He is as good as I can get him,” she said. “He hasn’t raced since January. He has had a trial to get ready for Saturday. He showed quite a bit of tenacity and he doesn’t really mind where he is in the race. He will go forward, he will go back, he is a pretty versatile guy.”