Lindsay Park trainers Ben and JD Hayes are hoping a big spring is in-store for their Group One winner Little Brose, with a potential trip to Hong Kong in December in the offing.
The son of Per Incanto has had a standout juvenile season, winning two and placing in two of his five starts, including victories in the Gr.1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m).
A trip north to visit their father David and compete at Sha Tin’s international meeting in December is the ultimate goal with the Hong Kong-owned gelding, however, a spring campaign in Melbourne remains the focus for the training partnership.
“It (Hong Kong) is a possibility as he is owned by Mr Young up there in Hong Kong and he would love to see his horse compete on the world stage,” JD Hayes told Racing.com.
“He is going to have to put together a very good spring to book his ticket, but we think he is capable and hopefully the next couple of months will tell.”
Little Brose had a jumpout at Flemington last Friday and will have another on August 7 before resuming in the Vain Stakes a fortnight later.
“We will then probably do a traditional path of going to the McNeil,” Hayes said.
“We might try him in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude over 1400 metres and that might be a fork in the road for the preparation as to whether we kept sprinting or look to a possible Guineas tilt.”
Hayes has been pleased with the way Little Brose has returned from his spell and is looking forward to the spring with the rising three-year-old.
“We are really happy with the way he has strengthened and developed with his time off,” he said.
“We always thought he would train on at three, especially being by Per Incanto, we thought whatever we got at two was just a bonus.
“So if that’s the case, we are going to be very, very happy because he exceeded all expectations at two.”
The training partnership, which is set to become a triumvirate next week with the addition of brother Will, also have big hopes for fellow New Zealand-bred Group One winner Mr Brightside.
He will likely follow the same blueprint as last spring, kicking off in the Gr.2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m), a race he won first-up last year, with the A$5 million Gr.1 King Charles III Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 14 and Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) is two major aims.
“He has proven to be one of the better milers in the country, so stepping out to 2000m, hopefully this time as an older horse in the spring, he can prove he is just as good over 2000m,” Hayes said.
Mr Brightside will jump out again on August 7 and is also a candidate to contest the Hong Kong International meeting in December.