Chris Wood chasing flat and jumps racing success

Alfriston will line up at Cambridge on Wednesday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Cambridge trainer Chris Wood will have strong chances on the flat and over jumps this week at three different venues.

Closer to home, he will be represented by Alfriston on his home synthetic track on Wednesday and by Emmy Dazzler at Thursday’s rescheduled Te Aroha meeting, while Smug will head south to Hastings.

The latter has Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay Hurdle (3100m) on his program following a bold showing to finish runner-up in the Waikato Hurdle (3200m).

“It was a good run last time and he’s very well, I am very happy with him,” Wood said.

Complacent six-year-old Smug has taken well to the jumping game with a win and three placings from seven attempts and finished fourth in last year’s Great Northern Hurdle (4200m).

Alfriston has been prominent in both runs this preparation and will benefit from Tayla Mitchell’s 1kg claim.

“He races well on the poly tracks and I sent him down to Palmerston North for a couple of runs and he went two good races,” Wood said.

“Their circumference isn’t as big as Cambridge and when you get back and loop the field the frontrunners get away down on the inside.

“Both times he got home well, but the leaders got away on the turn. He has come through those runs well and I’m very happy with him.”

Stablemate Side Eye, also to be ridden by Mitchell, has to up his game.

“He has been a bit disappointing, he needs to step up in his next couple of starts or retirement could be looming,” Wood said.

“He has done a good job and he also races well here on the track. We’ve had a bit of work done on his back, the chiropractor had a look at him and found him out in a couple of places.

“He’s bright and been working well and we’ll take the blinkers off and try a new bridle and see if that helps.”

Boxmoss will make his debut and will be partnered by Warren Kennedy, who rode the son of Vadamos when second in a lead-up trial on the course.

“He has wanted to work quite strongly and we’ve finally got him to settle a bit,” Wood said.

“I said to Warren the other day let him flop out of the gates and find his feet and he ran home strongly.”

Kennedy will also be aboard in-form contender Emmy Dazzler at Te Aroha.

“She’s come into form and will cope with the track, so she’s a nice chance,” Wood said.

The Embellish filly was a strong finishing last-start second over the course and distance to follow up a previous third on her local synthetic track.

Meanwhile, Wood has Listed Marton Cup (2200m) winner and Group 3 Wellington Cup (3200m) placegetter Canheroc back in work.

“He’s in the stable and looks very good and You Say D’Orsay is back as well,” Wood said.

“He’s had two wins and two seconds from four runs and he’s among the nicest lot of young horses I’ve had for a long time, so I’m looking forward to the new season.”

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