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Hawke’s Bay trip on the cards for Auld Jock

3 minute read

Promising jumper Auld Jock could earn a place in his first prestige jumping assignment with a strong showing on Sunday at Te Aroha.


Auld Jock  is trained at Matamata by Peter and Jessica Brosnan, who reaped the rewards of an educational season last year when the gelding went back-to-back over fences at Hawera and Woodville in May.

The Adelaide six-year-old has accepted into both the Piako Rural Services Steeplechase (3500m) and The Bottle-O Te Aroha Hurdles (3100m) on Sunday, with the decision of which to run in still up in the air for the Brosnans.

A number of recent injuries and retirements have led to a lack of licensed jumps jockeys this season so far, although another English rider will join the Kiwi ranks on Sunday in Jay Kozaczek.

"We're not sure which race we'll run Auld Jock in yet due to the lack of riders available, but I think he'll be competitive whatever race he ends up running in," Brosnan said.

"Hopefully the jockey situation can be helped by getting the riding fee up as well, but we'll make the call later in the week for Jock's race."

With a strong showing in either event, a trip to Hastings for next Saturday's AHD Hawke's Bay Steeplechase (4800m) is on the cards.

"Our idea was to potentially back-up next Saturday with him, so if he can keep stepping up, then we'll go onto the steeplechase there," Brosnan said.

"We put him in a race down there last year and he jumped some fair, then some good, so he's had a look around the jumps course.

"When he won the steeplechase at Woodville the fences weren't live and that's pretty much horses for courses, similar to Hastings."

Jakama Krystal  is another in consideration for the Hawke's Bay features, dependent upon her performance in the open hurdle after finishing a distant sixth in the Awapuni Hurdle (3000m) last month.

"She just needs that bit of moisture in the track which she didn't get down at Woodville," Brosnan said.

"We've freshened her up a little bit and she pulled Peter's arms off this morning so she's feeling well.

"We would like to have a couple at Hastings, so hopefully she can go alright to possibly follow on to the Hawke's Bay Hurdles. We'll make our minds up after the weekend."

Ima Wonder  picked up her maiden steeplechasing success at the course last-start and will step into open grade against the likes of returning Great Northern Steeplechase (6200m) winner Te Kahu.

"I've just taken her up for a farm ride and she's come through the run really well," Brosnan said.

"Those top couple of horses such as Te Kahu do like the track so he should be hard to beat, same with Jo Rathbone's horse (Des De Jeu) going back to the live fences.

"It's hard to win two in a row, so we'll see how it plays out on Sunday and then make a plan for her. She's really a day-by-day kind of horse."

Maideners Civil Unrest and Rocem will contest the Agrisea NZ Steeplechase (3500m) and TAJC Hospitality Function Centre Hurdles (3100m) respectively, with the latter having her third start over fences under Portia Matthews.

"She's not a bad horse Rocem, if she can just get over those last couple of fences she should be right in the finish on Sunday," Brosnan said.

"It's not an overly strong field and she's working well."

Molly's Gold will continue her preparation on the flat for an impending jumping career in the Duck N Cover Maiden (2200m), following in the footsteps of her talented dam Southern Countess.

The Stark South mare won seven races for the stable and five of these were in her favoured jumping role, including the 2011 Great Northern Hurdles (4190m) at Ellerslie.

"She (Molly's Gold) has had a couple of jumping trials now and that will be her go," Brosnan said.

"We're just getting a bit more race fitness into her now on the flat so she can really learn how to be a racehorse. It's hard to put these older horses straight into jumping races when they haven't been around on the flat.

"If she can be half as good as her mother, we'll be rapt."

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