Ruakaka tune-up for Australia-bound Hiflyer

Hiflyer is set for a stint across the Tasman. Source: Race Images

Te Aroha trainer Peter Lock is looking forward to the return of stable star Hiflyer when he tackles Saturday’s Clansman Motel Bream Bay Bowl (1200m) at Ruakaka.

The five-year-old son of Tavistock is likely to venture to Sydney after Saturday’s resuming run, depending on post-race feedback from regular rider Johnathan Parkes, who will head north to ride the talented galloper.

“We’re definitely going up on Saturday to use this as a stepping stone towards going to Australia,” Lock said.

“Jonathan knows the horse better than anybody and I will have a chat with him after the race. If he thinks that he is forward enough to go to Australia, we will probably head over with him in the next fortnight.

“If he thinks that he needs another run or two then we will go back to plan B and have a good chat about what happens from there.”

A dual Group 3 winner, Hiflyer will carry 61.5kgs in the Open Handicap but Lock believes conditions will suit.

“He trialled at Waipa in readiness for this on very heavy, testing ground and he went super.

“Even though 61.5kgs seems like a lot of weight, he’s a Group 3 winner and placed in a Group 1 race. When you stop and look at the field, and without running the others down, I think he is quite well off at the weights.

“He’s a horse that was still a little bit weak and immature last preparation and he has really furnished into a lovely horse now. He had a nice break and it’s the best condition he has come back in.

“I think he is quite forward. He is not 100 percent screwed down and talking with a lot of other good trainers that have campaigned horses in Australia, you have got to go on the way up.”

A model of consistency, with eight wins and a further eight placings from 20 starts, Lock is keen to see Hiflyer stretch his legs on a decent surface on Saturday.

“The track is rated a dead5 up there at the moment and it’s definitely going to be a far better track than anything we’ll get down here [in Waikato].”

Lock indicated that the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill on June 30 could be an option for Hiflyer.

“The plan is to have two runs over there and to be home and go to the Hawke’s Bay carnival in a nice fresh state. He goes very well fresh up.”