Tuesday NZ Briefs – Thief robbed of juvenile season

He's Our Rokkii
He’s Our Rokkii has been retired. Photo: Racing.com

Stakes-performed filly She’s A Thief won’t be seen again this season after she was forced out of Saturday’s Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

“She pulled up a bit scratchy after her final gallop and we didn’t want to risk a good filly, not being 100 per cent happy with her,” said Pam Gerard, who trains in partnership with Michael Moroney.

“She’s had a big season and done everything we’ve asked of her and now is a good time to get her out while it’s still warm.

“She’ll be back, bigger, stronger and faster for the start of her three-year-old season.”

She’s a Thief won two races this term and was placed in the Group 1 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m).

She was also fourth in the Karaka Million (1200m).

Listed goal for precocious filly

Speedy southern two-year-old Xpressmymind will be on trial next time out for a stakes assignment.

The filly will step out on her home track at Riccarton on April 21 and another bold showing could see her target the Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes (1200m) a fortnight later.

“She’s got plenty of speed and she’s come through her last run really well,” trainer Andrew Carston said.

Xpressmymind was a debut second before she provided her sire Shamexpress with his first winner when successful at Riccarton in February. At her latest appearance, she finished runner-up behind Going To War.

Johnson to ride Kiwi Oaks hope

Chris Johnson has been confirmed as Savvy Coup’s rider in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).

Co-trainer Michael Pitman said Hugh Bowman had been approached for the mount, but he has opted to partner the Chris Waller-trained Unforgotten in Saturday week’s classic at Randwick.

Johnson has an outstanding record with Savvy Coup, who will be on a flight to Sydney on Wednesday, having ridden her in four of her five wins including victory in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

Time called on well-performed Kiwi-bred

New Zealand-bred Group 1 winner He’s Our Rokkii has run his last race.

The decision to retire the son of Roc de Cambes was made after his unplaced performance in Saturday’s Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield.

Trained by David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, He’s Our Rokki won seven races including the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) in 2016.

“He’s lost his zest for racing,” Ben Hayes said.

“We tried every trick in the book to spark him back to form, but he just wasn’t racing to the capabilities of what he could.”

He’s Our Rokkii was in the money in all three of his starts, including a runner-up finish in the Group 3 Phoenix Park Classic (1200m) and a fourth placing in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), for Cambridge trainer Mark Forbes before continuing his career in Australia.

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