Colorado Star is in career best form and will bid to go out on another high at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.
The seven-year-old is in outstanding touch and while he won’t have it easy as a clear topweight with 59kg in the Listed Power Farming Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m), his recent performances are hard to ignore.
Since trainer Mike Breslin stepped Colorado Star up in distance, the son of Alamosa has gone to another level with success in the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) and Listed Kaimai Stakes (2000m).
He then produced a gallant last-start effort on his home track to finish runner-up in the Gr.3 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m).
“His last three runs have been first rate and he seems to have had a change of attitude as well,” Breslin said.
“He has been going well this whole preparation really, but sometimes I think they can learn to win and then they’re away.”
With Colorado Star’s confidence sky high, another bold showing is expected at Hastings in the hands of Jonathan Riddell before the gelding takes a well-earned spell.
“It’s not only the fact that he’s gone over ground, the horse’s demeanour has also changed and he’s very positive about everything and racing generously and wanting to be out there,” Breslin said.
“It’s an interesting weight scale though and that will make it a bit tricky for him.”
Breslin considered a trip south for a Riccarton feature on April 22, but decided the closer to home option was more in Colorado Star’s best interests.
“This will be his last run before he has a bit of a break. I had to toss up whether to run him in the Hawke’s Bay Cup or take him to Christchurch for the Canterbury Gold Cup (Gr.3, 2000m),” Breslin said.
“I decided to run him on Saturday and that way he gets into the paddock 10 days earlier and back in work 10 days earlier for the spring and doesn’t have a torrid trip at the end of a preparation.”
Breslin is also keen to run Raffle in the Listed Power Turf Sprint (1200m) at Hastings in preference to a Rating 75 event at Awapuni on Friday.
“The powers that be have decided to have three race days on one day (Saturday) and it’s making it pretty tricky to get jockeys down in the weights,” Breslin said.
“I put her in at Awapuni as a precaution because I haven’t been able to find a rider, but I want her to run at Hawke’s Bay. She’s got a good barrier draw (6) and she hasn’t had any favours recently so hopefully it will fall into place.”
Raffle was caught three and four wide when seventh in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) two runs back and the Per Incanto mare was then denied room in the straight when ninth in the Listed Flying Handicap (1400m).
The stable’s other representative at Hastings is Flying Surf, who will be partnered by apprentice Jim Chung in the Hes Earthmoving Handicap (2200m).
“Her last three runs have been super, she’s racing genuinely and hasn’t had the rub of the green,” Breslin said.
“She was badly held up a couple of times at Wellington and covered a lot of ground last start and the horses that have beaten her have come off perfect runs and she’s had hard runs so she deserves to take a trick.”
The daughter of Niagara finished runner-up over 2100m at Awapuni most recently after a three-wide trip.