International Group 1 performer Torcedor will represent New Zealand interests in next month’s Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at Meydan.
Trained in Ireland by Jessica Harrington, the stayer will go into the feature with fresh legs after runner-up finishes in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2800m) and the Group 2 Long Distance Cup (3000m) at his last two appearances in the spring.
“He was beaten a half-head by Order Of St George last time out so he’s a pretty serious horse,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said.
“I bought him as a yearling at Deauville in France to syndicate and before he was put on our web site some friends bought into him.”
Torcedor’s New Zealand owners include Sir Patrick Hogan, Sir Peter Vela and Laurie Laxon.
“He’s by Fastnet Rock out of a sister to Yeats, probably the greatest stayer I’ve ever seen. He won four Ascot Gold Cups in a row,” Ellis said.
“Torcedor ran fifth in the Gold Cup last year and he’ll probably head there again.”
Sir Nate ready for Group 1 test
In-form youngster Sir Nate is on target for his home track two-year-old feature on Saturday week.
The last-start Trentham winner will spearhead Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta’s attack on the Group 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
“He’s come through his last run nicely and Platinum Mam’selle is also going well,” Latta said.
“The long-range forecast doesn’t look that good though and she needs a better track.”
The third member of the team in line for a Group 1 start is Secret Allure, who finished fourth behind Sir Nate last time out. Oaks hope ready for Sydney Quality filly Danzdanzdance will arrive in Sydney on Monday afternoon.
“She’ll run in the Vinery Stud Stakes and then hopefully on to the Oaks,” trainer Chris Gibbs said. “She’s doing well and we’re looking forward to her racing.”
Danzdanzdance has won once from five appearances and finished a last-start third in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie. Rusof given Group 1 opportunity Former champion Singapore apprentice Shafiq Rusof has earned a Group 1 ride.
He will partner the last-start winner Handsome Rebel in Saturday week’s Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.
“He’s a top jockey and Danielle Johnson will be on Avantage and Opie Bosson will ride Sword Of Osman,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said. “All three horses are well and we’re very happy with them.”