Notable family occasion at Ellerslie
Sibling rivalry will come to a head at Group Two level on Saturday when Battle Time and Farm Boy square off at Ellerslie.
The half-brothers will clash in the Manco Easter Stakes and Tim Carter, who trains the pair with his wife Margaret for breeder-owner Allan Hayward, said they were both in good touch for the meeting.
“Allan likes to see them in good races and they deserve to be there – we’re not going up there just to make up the numbers.”
The winner of the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile and a dual Group One placegetter, Battle Time was freshened before his last-start fourth at Te Rapa.
“He probably could have run third with a bit of luck and he’s done really well since then,” Carter said.
“He doesn’t mind an off track either, that’s not going to worry him at all.”
The older Farm Boy also turned in an encouraging last-start performance when he finished seventh and less than three lengths off the unbeaten Let Me Roar at Te Rapa.
“He’s been a bit of a mystery this year and probably hasn’t come up quite as well as we’d hoped, but his work has been fantastic and that was a good run last time,” Carter said.
“We obviously want to get him up to 2000 metres and you have to do that in stages.”
Victory in the Gr.2 Avondale Cup takes pride of place on his middle distance CV, while he has also placed at Group One level.
Mark Hills has been booked to ride Battle Time while Doni Prastiyou will guide the fortunes of Farm Boy.
“Both horses are as well as we can get them and we know it’s a strong field, but we expect good runs from them,” Carter said.
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