Group winner’s return imminent

who will shortly resume work and build toward black type targets in the new season. Source: Race Images.

Talented two-year-old Bit Lippy will be back in ’ stable next week to begin preparations for his classic season.

The gelding raced exclusively in black type company during his last campaign and his talent was evident with placings in the Group 2 (1200m), the Group 3 (1200m) and the Listed Ashford Lodge Stakes (1100m).

His campaign was brought to a halt after he posted a deserved win in the Group 3 Phoenix Park Classic (1200m) at New Plymouth in February. “He had a chip removed, that’s why he’s had a good spell,” Hillis said.

Neds bonuses

“He’s really well now and he’s definitely grown and strengthened.” The trainer has yet to map out Bit Lippy’s spring calendar, but it will revolve around further feature age group events.

“We might be a little bit late to get to the 2000 Guineas – we might still get there – but there’s still the and other races,” he said.

Meanwhile, the stable will rely on Alphastar to fly the flag at on Wednesday when she steps out in the New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series Race (1600m) with Liquid Inspiration an unlikely starter in the NZI/Sweeney Townsend Insurance Brokers Ltd 1200m.

“I probably won’t run her – she’s drawn out at 18 over 1200m,” Hillis said.

“Alphastar went pretty well last start and I’ve gone with a senior jockey (Shaun McKay) so hopefully that does the trick. She has trained on well.”

The Battle Paint three-year-old was a last-start sixth on her home track in the hands of stable apprentice .

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