Zed may well have had two runners in this year’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) had it not been for the current complications of trans-Tasman travel.
His daughter Verry Elleegant confirmed her champion status with a resounding victory on Tuesday, while the Flemington feature had also been on the radar of Grangewilliam Stud stallion’s promising son Beaudz Well.
New Plymouth trainer John Wheeler had been keen on a Victorian venture for his highly regarded five-year-old, but travel restrictions forced him to ditch that plan.
“I brought him back into work earlier with a view to the Melbourne Cup, but I pulled the pin because of COVID, it was just going to be too hard. Maybe we’ll go next year,” Wheeler said.
“It was a big run by that mare in the Cup and the good thing about the Zeds is that the really good ones like Verry Elleegant, Irish Flame, Waisake and Beaudz Well go on dry tracks and the slower Zeds are good on heavy tracks.”
Wheeler now has Beaudz Well on a path to Riccarton with Saturday’s Listed Nautical Boat Insurance Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) his immediate target ahead of the Group 3 Martin Collins New Zealand Cup (3200m).
Sam Weatherley will retain the ride on the gelding following their last-start second in the Listed Staphanos Classic (1950m) at Rotorua.
“He will be flying down to Christchurch tomorrow morning. He’s only had the two runs, but he’s going well and I planned for him to be third-up into the Metropolitan,” Wheeler said.
“He’s not that far away from top class and he’s run well in some good races. The Metropolitan on Saturday will suit him and as long as he goes well, he’ll run in the Cup.”
Wheeler will be chasing his third victory in the New Zealand Cup, having prepared Waltermitty to win in 2004 and struck again two years later with Pentathon.
Beaudz Well performed with distinction at the meeting 12 months ago and finished runner-up in a Benchmark 65 event over 2500m on the first day and then backed up to score over 2000m on the second day.
He has won four of his 28 starts and was also third in last season’s Listed New Zealand St Leger (2600m).
Beaudz Well was bred by long-time stable clients John and Carole Lynskey, who remain in an ownership group that includes star All Black Beauden Barrett.
“They have had quite a few horses with me and two or three really good jumpers, Tobouggie Nights would have been the best one,” Wheeler said.
Tobouggie Nights completed the Oakbank double of the Von Doussa Steeplechase (3250m) and Great Eastern Steeplechase (4950m) in 2012 and also won the Pakuranga Hunt Cup (4900m) and the Koral Steeplechase (4250m).