Summer return likely for Daytona Red

Daytona Red
Daytona Red is likely to make a summer raceday return. Photo credit: Trish Dunell

Daytona Red looked a promising proposition heading into last season, however, a tendon injury cut short those plans.

The Shaune Ritchie-trained six-year-old won the Listed New Zealand St Leger (2500m) at Trentham in March 2018, but was forced to sit on the sidelines after suffering an injury in his subsequent preparation. “Unfortunately, he tweaked a tendon in the prep after that St Leger win, so he has been off the track,” Ritchie said.

“He’s out at Kariotahi Beach with Luke Pertab. He’s on the water walker there and is just doing some straight work. “We are hoping to see him when the tracks dry up. We are reluctant to try him in the spring with the tracks still being a little bit wet. “I would say late in the spring and early in the summer he will be stepping back out on the race track. He has got a tonne of talent and a lot of raw ability.”

Daytona Red beat Felaar and Bizzwinkle in the St Leger and while Ritchie is ruing lost opportunities, he is looking on the brighter side of the situation. “The Hawke’s Bay Cup (Listed, 2200m) winner was Felaar and the New Zealand Cup (Group 3, 3200m) winner was Bizzwinkle,” Ritchie said. “He was a bit of a loss last season, it would have been nice to have him on the race track, but he was always a big, scopey, narrow style horse.

“Now that he has filled out, sometimes these things can be a blessing in disguise. If the tendon does hold up, we have got an exciting summer ahead of us.”