Matamata trainer Glenn Old will have runners at both New Zealand venues on Saturday, with Our King Sway chasing a local feature and Bizzwinkle building towards bigger things further south.
Our King Sway, who has placed in both of his starts over 1400 metres this spring, steps up to a more suitable 1600 metres in Saturday’s Listed Team Wealleans Matamata Cup.
“His two runs this time in have been good – really honest,” Old said. “I think he’s looking for the mile now.
“I think I’ve got him pretty well, so I’d be surprised if he didn’t run a good race this weekend. My concern would be his weight of 58.5 kilograms. He’s a horse who doesn’t win often, but he’s paid the price for being consistent. Those two down the bottom, Sherrif and Demonetization, are going to be hard to beat with their light weights.”
To be ridden on Saturday by Reese Jones, Our King Sway is rated a $12 chance in a market headed by Sherrif ($2.80) and Demonetization ($4). Old has no long-range targets this season for Our King Sway, who has won four races and more than $146,000 in prize-money. His biggest win came in the Gr. 3 Taranaki Cup in February of last year.
“It’s a bit hard to place a horse like him, who’s just not quite at the top level,” Old said. “So we’ll just take it one race at a time, then probably look at some nice handicaps at Premier meetings through the summer.”
It’s a different story with Bizzwinkle, whose spring campaign has been framed around a shot at the Gr. 3 New Zealand Cup at Riccarton on November 17. He is currently the equal second favourite at $14 for that time-honoured $250,000 feature.
The Rip Van Winkle gelding, who placed in the St Leger last season, scored a front-running victory at Avondale last start and lines up in Saturday’s $40,000 South Taranaki Club Egmont Cup at Hawera. With three-kilogram claimer Tegan Newman in the saddle, he will carry just 51 kilograms.
“He’s entered for races at both meetings, but he’ll definitely go to Hawera,” Old said. “That’s the right race for him. He’ll get in at a nice light weight.
“The only concern would be track conditions (currently Good3, but with some rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow). I wouldn’t want it to be any worse than a Dead6 or Slow7.
“I’m happy with him, and we’re trying to get him to Riccarton for the New Zealand Cup. Hopefully Saturday will be another step in the right direction.”
Bizzwinkle is a $6 third favourite for Saturday’s 2100-metre race, with Ladies First at $3.60 and Nymph Monte $5.