IN Racing
Australian targets for Master Fay
“It is pretty exciting to think that we might be able to have a go at a Group One in Australia in his first prep.”
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | February 12, 2024
Master Fay winning the Gr.3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie last month Photo: Race Images

Exciting sprinter Master Fay is set to test his talents across the Tasman, with the six-year-old gelding booked to fly to Melbourne next week to chase elite-level targets.

The former Hong Kong galloper repaid the faith of owner-trainer Chad Ormsby with his dominant display when winning the Gr.3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie last month, and his post-race condition has given the Matamata horseman the confidence to press on toward bigger targets.

“He is a lot better now than he was before the race,” Ormsby said. “I think he has gone to another level.”

Orsmby resisted the temptation of backing up Master Fay in last Saturday’s Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa in favour of testing the waters in Australia and attempt to gain a place in one of the best feature sprints in the world.

The Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) remains the ultimate goal, however, Ormsby said with Master Fay’s relatively low rating of 80, he is in talks with Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper David Hegan to gauge the best options for his charge.

“He is going to fly to Melbourne on the 25th (of February) and then we will assess what race we will have a go at,” Ormsby said.

“We would like to have a go at the Newmarket, but it’s just whether or not he gets in with his rating. Hopefully being a last start Group Three winner might sneak him in as I would like to have a crack at some of the bigger ones.

“We are waiting on the handicapper to see whether he sneaks into that Newmarket, but there are plenty of other sprint races before the end of March that he can have a go at. If we are not looking like we are making those Group Ones we can change tack and try at one of those other sprint races.”

Master Fay, who was originally purchased by Ormsby as a yearling before he was subsequently sold to Hong Kong as a juvenile, is undefeated in his three starts to date, having won his sole outing in Hong Kong before returning to Ormsby’s care, for whom he has won both starts this preparation.

Ormsby is looking forward to campaigning Master Fay in Melbourne, and the magnitude of the opportunity has not been lost on the Waikato horseman.

“I know there is plenty in-store for him going forward but we are trying to get him over there and give him a taste of it,” he said.

“I have been doing this game a long time and it is not often I come across a horse like this. We are pretty excited to go over and have a go.

“He is not going to lack any of the ability. It is still only early days for him, it is his first prep back from Hong Kong.

“It is pretty exciting to think that we might be able to have a go at a Group One in Australia in his first prep.”

Master Fay Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap Chad Ormsby