IN Racing
Group One winner ready for step up in trip
He’s A Doozy has proved to be a quality 1600m performer and Lisa Latta believes the timing is now ideal for him to make his mark over a middle distance.
NZ Racing Desk | February 10, 2023
Photo: Race Images

He’s A Doozy has proved to be a quality 1600m performer and Lisa Latta believes the timing is now ideal for him to make his mark over a middle distance.

The son of Zacinto is in rare form and in tip-top order to face the sternest test of his career in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

He’s A Doozy won both the Gr.3 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) and the Gr.3 Thompson Handicap (1600m) during his spring campaign and, following a break, completed his box set of stakes titles when he claimed the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at his latest appearance.

“He’s going super and I’m really happy with him. He worked really well when he galloped on Wednesday morning and he looked great when we put him on the float this morning,” Latta said.

He’s a Doozy has only twice started beyond 1600m and was unplaced in his first attempt as a three-year-old in the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m).

However, he proved it was within his range last season when he finished runner-up in an open handicap at Te Rapa over 2100m.

“He has been running the miles out really strongly and he went a nice race at the end of his last campaign over ground and I think he’s looking for that again now,” Latta said.

“It’s definitely a good field on Saturday and a different lot of horses and a step up for him.”

While He’s A Doozy won the Thorndon on a heavily rain-affected Trentham surface, he has won six of his eight races on top of the ground.

“He goes on all tracks and is a beautiful moving horse,” Latta said.

“Some people may think he’s a wet tracker because he won at Wellington, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. If anything, the better the track the better he goes.”

The five-year-old has also benefitted from patient handling with time bringing the best out of the gelding.

“He’s a pretty straightforward horse and he has taken a while to strengthen mentally and he’s finally got there,” Latta said.

Meanwhile, continued frustration with the country’s weather patterns and a poor run of wide barriers has resulted in stablemate Charms Star having a second spell across the Tasman.

The final straw for Latta and owner Noel Nicholson came at Trentham last month when they were forced to withdraw the daughter of Per Incanto from the Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) due to a Heavy8 surface.

“She has gone to Peter Moody’s stable in Melbourne. Honestly, every time I had her in she kept drawing wide and the rain came and Noel decided to have one quick go over there and see how she does,” Latta said.

Charms Star enjoyed a successful three-year-old campaign, including a second behind Amarelinha in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) before her first Australian venture.

She joined Chris Waller’s stable with her best performance resulting in a runner-up finish to Duais in the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m).

On her return, Charms Star was successful in last season’s Gr.3 Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2000m) and this term placed at Listed level in the Feilding Gold Cup (2100m) and Wanganui Cup (2040m).

Amarelinha Charms Star Chris Waller Duais Listed Feilding Gold Cup Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks Gr.1 Queensland Oaks Gr.1 Thorndon Mile Gr.3 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile Gr.3 Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes Gr.3 Manawatu Classic Gr.3 Thompson Handicap Gr.3 Wellington Cup He’s a Doozy Lisa Latta Melbourne Noel Nicholson Per Incanto Peter Moody Listed Wanganui Cup Zacinto