Talented two-year-old Bit Lippy will be back in Wayne Hillis’ stable next week to begin preparations for his classic season.
The Showcasing gelding raced exclusively in black type company during his last campaign and his talent was evident with placings in the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m), the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (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.
“He’s really well now and he’s definitely grown and strengthened.” The Matamata 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 Levin Classic and other races,” he said.
Meanwhile, the stable will rely on Alphastar to fly the flag at Te Teko 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 Darren Danis.