Group 1 winner Wait A Sec will make a return to stakes company at Awapuni on Saturday when he lines-up in the Group 3 Boehringer Ingelheim Metric Mile (1600m).
The Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen-trained nine-year-old has been off the scene since his win in the Wairoa Cup (2100m) 18 months ago through injury. “He did a tendon, so he’s just on his way back,” Lowry said. “Grant has done a really good job of getting him back to the state he is in. He’s done a lot treadmill work and a lot of hill work in the last 18 months.”
The son of Postponed made his raceday return at Hastings on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Spring Racing Carnival and Lowry was pleased with his run in the Reliable Man Trophy (1600m) despite finishing at the tail of the field. “I was pleased with his first run, he ran the third fastest last 600m in that race, although he finished last, and had 60.5 kilos on his back,” he said. “When you have got a bit of age on you it takes a while to get going again.”
With that in-mind, Lowry isn’t holding great expectations with Wait A Sec heading into Saturday and is treating it as a stepping stone towards his main goal of the spring, the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings on October 5.
Wait A Sec won the race in 2017 and Lowry said it would be great to start in the race after such a long layoff. “He has got a bit of a goal and that is to get to the Livamol,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine him figuring in the finish on Saturday, but to see him run a nice race would be great and then he can back-up a week later here (Hastings) in the Open 2000m. “Hopefully he is getting somewhere where he needs to be for the Livamol.”
Meanwhile, Lowry will also line-up Mohaka at Awapuni on Saturday. The four-year-old daughter of Nadeem will jump from gate five in the CR Grace/Marsh Insurance Broker Handicap (1600m) and comes into the race in good form. “She’s had a couple of nice placings, I have been really happy with the way she has been going,” Lowry said.
The multiple stakes placed mare is set to have a quiet start to the spring with Lowry eyeing black-type targets later this year. “We will just take it along quietly with Mohaka,” he said. “She had quite a big three-year-old season, so at this stage we’ll just go through the grades and eventually we will try and get some black-type, but that won’t be early on in the spring.”
Lowry is relatively confident with Mohaka heading into Saturday, but cited the current Heavy11 track conditions as his main concern. “I like her chances, but on a Heavy11 it will be a struggle.”