The Gr. 3 New Zealand Cup is a long-range target for Aigne.
The connections of the promising stayer Aigne will be lifting their sights in the spring.
The five-year-old son of Sufficient has two wins and four placings from 12 starts and was given a break after he finished third over 2400 metres at Te Rapa toward the end of last month.
“He’s spelling at the moment and then we’ll get him ready for the New Zealand Cup,” trainer Clint Isdale said.
The progress of Aigne, who provided Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Tony Allan with his 1000th New Zealand victory, hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“The owner has knocked back some substantial offers for him,” Isdale said. “He wants to race the horse, so hopefully we’ll be having some fun in the spring.”
The Te Awamutu horseman is currently on a break in the United States, where he was on hand to see a former stable resident make her California debut. The lightly-raced Buffalo Man filly Barbello finished in the money at Golden Gate Fields yesterday.
“She raced over 1000 metres and got well back, she angled out on the turn and got home strongly for third,” Isdale said.
He part-owned and trained Barbello, who placed once from seven appearances before her sale.
“It was nice to see a New Zealand horse measure up over here,” Isdale said. “The lady that owns her said she’ll go to Santa Anita next for a better race.”
Barbello is raced by Lili Ai, a friend of the Inner Mongolian Rider Horse Industry bloodstock manager Victoria Wang.