Matamata trainer Jamie Richards is keen to plunder some more Australian prizemoney before he ventures to Hong Kong in April or May next year.
Unveiled last week as the newest addition to Hong Kong’s training ranks, the Te Akau trainer’s immediate focus will be on a host of runners through the busy Christmas and New Year period.
The 32-year-old will be well represented at all three New Zealand meetings on Boxing Day – Ellerslie, Awapuni and Wingatui – however, he will also be keeping an eye on the Doomben meeting as talented juvenile Bright Blue Sky contests the Gr.3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) in Brisbane.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock was a runaway winner of the Listed Fasttrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (1100m) at Te Rapa last month before being set on an Australian campaign with the filly 17th in order of entry for the A$2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 15.
“She galloped at the Gold Coast this morning and Ashley Handley, who is over there, is happy with her work,” Richards said.
“Everything is going according to plan with her.
“She is probably going to come up against Coolangatta, who is the favourite, so it will be a good test for her.”
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Coolangatta, a dominant winner of the Gr.3 Gimcrack Stakes (1000m), is overwhelming favourite for both Saturday’s assignment ($1.40) and the Magic Millions 2YO Classic ($2.30).
Richards has three of the six juveniles nominated for the Civic Contractors 1100 at Ellerslie on Boxing Day headed by Grace 'N' Grey who finished runner-up in her only start behind stablemate I Choose You, who will contest the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) on New Year’s Day.