Monday, 23 April 2012
: Promising three-year-old gelding Biko, shooting for a hat trick of wins at Grafton on Monday, is on the road to the $2 million Scone carnival in May.
Long range plans for the Johannesburg gelding include the Grafton Guineas in July.
Trainer Anthony Honess has a big opinion of the Gainsborough Lodge-Owned galloper who tackles the XXXX Gold Country Plate (1413m) at Grafton.
The gelding's rapid rise is a far cry from his first two public trial appearances when, under a different trainer, he was beaten a total of 21 lengths last year.
Two wins in as many starts for Honess underline the turnaround in fortunes.
“I don't know what happened before I got him but he was a real handful early,” Honess said.
“He was a box walker, a hot type that had adjustment problems.
“His improvement has been amazing.He's matured in the mind. The penny has dropped with him.”
Biko opened his account winning a 1200m maiden at Casino on March 30.
However, it was his half-length defeat of talented Power Receiver in a 13000m Country Plate at Lismore on April 4 that stamped his potential.
“He beat a pretty good horse at Lismore,” Honess admitted.
“He's mad keen chaser. He gets in tomorrow with the same weight and I reckon the horse has improved six to eight lengths since his first start.
Honess said Biko was likely to start at either Murwillumbah or Kempsey before his Scone mission, the $60,000 Country Cup (1400m) on May 18.
Honess is building a promising team of young horses that also includes unbeaten Billy Tea, who is set to head to Brisbane for the winter carnival.
The trainer is planning a shift to Coffs Harbour to train for prominent Queensland businessman Col Richards.