The Orange Agent and Todd MacFarlane, seen here trialing at Pukekohe on May 26.Photo: Trish Dunell.
Brilliant race mare The Orange Agent will head to Queensland next month, provided she comes through her next two trials in good order.
The daughter of American Ideal, a multiple Group 1 winner and arguably the best of her sex in New Zealand, is on her way back from yet another injury, a fractured pastern.
She trialed at Pukekohe a fortnight ago and is down to go there again tomorrow in what is likely the second of three ‘fitters’ for the big mare.
Co-breeder/owner John Green says The Orange Agent may potentially have one start in New Zealand before the trip across the Tasman, but it’s not a given.
“We’re targeting the two big races in Queensland next month.
“So, she’ll trial tomorrow and again next week, and then we’ll make a decision about whether or not she lines up in the Winter Cup at Alexandra Park (June 29).
“I’m not that fussed on the Winter Cup as it’s a stand and she’ll be off 40 metres, which is the last thing she needs fresh-up for more than a year.
“So, we’ll decide after next week’s trial what the next move is, but at this stage she’s booked on a plane the Tuesday after the Winter Cup.”
The A$50,000 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on July 14 will be her first Queensland start and it will act as the final lead-up to the state’s only Grand Circuit race, the A$200,000 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship on July 21.
Green, along with his partner in the horse, Peter Bult, and her trainers, Brian and Gareth Hughes, has learnt not to get ahead of himself in making plans as she’s broken down three times now and had had just one seven-start campaign in the last two-and-a-half years.
But, he’s daring to dream what might be all the same.
“The ultimate would be to go to Queensland, come back and set her for the New Zealand Cup, then go to Melbourne for the Inter Dominions.
“And at this stage she has had no issues whatsoever so we are hopeful.”
Green confirmed that unless she breaks down again, The Orange Agent, rising seven, will not be served in the spring and she would race on for another full season.
He also confirmed that another good pacer of his, the now Queensland-based Hughie Green, is at a similar stage of a new preparation as his former stablemate and could join her in the feature races there.
“He broke a pedal bone and had four screws put in.
“They actually came back in to work on the same day and are at exactly the same stage of their preparation.”