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Sir Charles Road to jump from Barrier 14 in the Lexus Melbourne Cup
04 Nov 2018
Sleeping Beauty wide awake at Tauranga
04 Nov 2018Talented mare Sleeping Beauty proved too slick for her rivals when she led all the way to take out the day’s open sprint contest over 1300m at Tauranga.

The lightly raced six-year-old was registering her eighth victory from just 17 career starts as she defied race favourite Embellish and former Hong Kong galloper Your Way to run her down in the home straight after dictating the pace throughout.

Sleeping Beauty relished the rain affected footing, rated as a Dead4, with co-trainer Andrew Scott content to extend her current campaign while the tracks remain with some moisture in them.

“She’s quite incredible as she has had a long winter campaign but is coming up like a spring horse,” he said.“At her last race she ran 1.12 (for 1200m) which was a personal best and again today she has run a wee bit of time. “She has really turned in the coat and is carrying good condition. Condition means speed as she is quickening on top of the ground and showed a good turn of foot. “We had been waiting to put her aside when she ran a bad one but she just keeps getting better.”

Scott was quick to admit that the race had panned out well for Sleeping Beauty when the likely pacemaker Rich Billie Marsh was slow away which allowed his charge the luxury of a cheap lead in the early stages. “I think that was the winning of the race,” he said. “She got a couple of soft sectionals where everyone else was looking for Rich Billie Marsh while we were in front doing very little."

“She’s learning to race now, which is strange for a six-year-old, but she’s taken a long time to settle and come down off the bridle but she’s quickening well now.”

Scott was also pleased with the fourth placed run of former Hong Kong galloper Giovanni Canaletto, who was having his first race for over two and a half years, while last season’s Gr.1 2000 Guineas winner Embellish lost no admirers with a handy effort in the first race of his four-year-old campaign. 

– NZ Racing Desk

Sleeping Beauty is well clear as she scores a comprehensive victory at Tauranga  - Race Images (Kenton Wright)
Kiwis for the Cup
01 Nov 2018

The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Sir Charles Road all but secured his spot in next Tuesday’s race after placing in the Gr.3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) on Wednesday, leapfrogging the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Zacada into 23rd spot in order of entry.

While Zacada currently remains within the starting line-up for the race, the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) runner-up’s spot could be taken by the winner of the Gr.3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) or Thinkin’ Big, who will contest the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m).

A number of Kiwi horses in the Lexus Stakes that could take his place include Rising Red, Yogi or Patrick Erin.

Meanwhile, there has been a set-back for Melbourne Cup hopeful Red Verdon.

The Ed Dunlop-trained entire, who is currently 20th in order of entry for the Cup, has been found with bruising to a foot and missed being worked on Thursday as a result.

“He’s got a bit of a pulse in a foot,” Dunlop said. “We have had the farrier in, he has a little bruise in his foot. The farrier has taken the shoe off and we are hot and cold pulsing it. It’s only a 24-hour problem, it’s just come at the wrong time with the Melbourne Cup coming up so quickly.

“He has missed a day’s work, but that will probably be the only problem.”

- Racing News

Andoyas to Back-up
01 Nov 2018

The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Andoyas will take his place in a Rating 82 Benchmark 1550m at Awapuni on Saturday, just a week after a barrier incident at Ellerslie.

The former Hong Kong galloper blundered when leaving the barriers last Saturday, making heavy contact with the gates and was subsequently pulled up when rider Opie Bosson was injured.

“He came through with no problem at all,” Lance O’Sullivan said.

“It was pretty unfortunate that it happened to Opie. It’s just one of those things, it can happen, and he has certainly taken no ill-effect from the incident whatsoever.

“I was contemplating running him over 2000m straight away but there were no races for him over that distance.”

Meanwhile, stablemate Divine Duke remains on target for the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m) on November 17.

“He ran really well at Matamata last start. He will run on Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie in the Rating 82 2200m, and if he performs well we will go down to Christchurch and have a crack.”

- Racing News

Sir Charles Road making good progress - NZ Racing Desk
29 Sep 2018

The Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) countdown for Sir Charles Road will become clearer for his connections on Tuesday.

The Kiwi stayer pleased his connections when he opened his Melbourne account with a solid fourth behind Night’s Watch in Saturday’s Gr.3 MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) at Caulfield, but a start in the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20 is in limbo.

“I was very pleased with his performance, but we won’t know until after the next payment (first acceptance) is made on Tuesday whether he will get in the Caulfield Cup,” co-trainer Lance O’Sullivan said.

“He’s well down the list and only got 53kgs so he might not even get in. A lot will depend on how many of the European horses pay up.”

Sir Charles Road earned a tilt at the Melbourne Cup on November 6 with his good summer – autumn form, particularly his win in the Gr.2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick and his handy third in the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m).

He resumed when 10th in the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa then sealed his trip across the Tasman with his win over 1600m at Hastings on September 1.

Dwayne Dunn took over the reins in Saturday’s MRC Foundation Cup and was very pleased with the five-year-old’s effort to finish under two lengths from Night’s Watch.

“Dwayne said he was going to improve a lot with the run and we always knew that,” O’Sullivan said. “He hadn’t run for three weeks, but he’s flying. He keeps going to the next level.

“You’ve only got to look at his first three runs last spring compared to his three this time. He needed all those runs and was well beaten.

“He’s really grown up with his trip away to Sydney. That’s made him.”

O’Sullivan was particularly pleased to see Sir Charles Road show immediate form in Melbourne.

“If he’d been beaten five or six lengths I’d have said he wasn’t up to it, but he proved he’s competitive and that was great to see,” he said.

“He’s pulled up well and now we’ve just got to wait and see whether he’s going to get into the Caulfield Cup. Really it’s one race at a time.”

– NZ Racing Desk

Charles road on the right Path to Major Assignments- NZ Racing Desk
03 Sep 2018

Recently crowned New Zealand Champion Stayer for 2017-18, Charles Road, showed he was ready for some big spring assignments when he downed a talented field over 1600m at Hastings on Saturday.

The Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) placegetter made an emphatic statement as he charged home carrying top-weight of 60.5kgs to down the free-going lightweight Big Mike at a distance well short of his best. The performance confirmed he is building nicely as his connections look to options that include the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) in October and possibly the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday in November.

Rider Sam Weatherley was emphatic in his assessment that the Myboycharlie five-year-old was ready to step up over the next few months.

“He’s a very good horse,” he said.

“For him to do what he has over a mile today means there are exciting times ahead once he gets up to two miles.

“That’s his real go as he is a genuine stayer.”

Co-trainer Andrew Scott was pleased with the effort off the back of a tidy first-up performance in the Gr.2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa last month.

“It was encouraging today to see he is coming up in the right manner,” he said.

“It was a really good effort with all the weight as the leader had very little.

“The main thing is that he is coming up in a manner that gives you confidence that he can go somewhere.”

Scott was unsure of just what the next opportunity would be for Charles Road as he, co-trainer Lance O’Sullivan and owner David Archer mull over their options.

“We’ll just have to get home and have a chat to Lance and David,” he said.

“We can then form a plan. We’ve got to this point and now we’ll have a bit of a board meeting to work out where we go.

“Everything is pretty open at the moment as we will see how he pulls up then work a path forward. It’s exciting and we just have to hope he can keep going in an upward spiral.”

The victory was the sixth in a 21-start career to date for Charles Road who was a $90,000 purchase for Archer from the Wentwood Grange draft at the Premier session of the 2015 National Yearling Sale. – NZ Racing Desk

Ugly Ducking Streets his Rivals at Te Rapa- NZ Racing Desk
19 Aug 2018With a combined winning margin of 23 lengths in his last two runs you could be forgiven for believing trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott have a potential superstar on their hands in the form of staying talent Divine Duke.

A conversation with O’Sullivan quickly establishes that is not quite the case and that at times the Matamata conditioner is left embarrassed by the Bachelor Duke six-year-old who set tongues wagging when he ran away and hid from his rating 65 rivals over 2100m at Te Rapa on Saturday.

“Without a word of a lie, he would be the worst looking horse in our stable and I get a little embarrassed when he’s out there parading,” O’Sullivan said.“He’s like a woolly yak even in the summer and certainly won’t win any beauty contests. Mind you when they can win like the way he has in his last two races then you tend to be a little more forgiving.”

Although the comments are made with tongue firmly in cheek O’Sullivan is still shaking his head at the improvement the horse has shown in this campaign after a mediocre start to his career.

Successful in two of his first 25 starts Divine Duke finally hit his straps when he bolted in by eight lengths at Tauranga to kick-off the new season. He eclipsed that effort on Saturday when he came from last at the 600m to storm clear in the hands of Taiki Yanagida with daylight his closest rival when he hit the finish line 15 lengths clear of the field.

“When we first got him we thought he could make a decent handicapper once he matured,” he said.“He has been very weak and slow to mature so we didn’t really know if he would ever come right.

“Even as a six-year-old now he still has plenty of strengthening to come so he might not reach his peak for a wee while yet.“

We got to the stage where we put him over the hurdles to see if that might sharpen him up, but he still ran last in his trial. Since then he has had a second and two wins so maybe it did the trick.

“That is really the only thing we have done differently with him, so it could be the key, but honestly I just don’t know.

“While he is in form we will try and keep him going, so we have a rating 72 2100m earmarked for him back at Te Rapa next month.”

O’Sullivan also reported that star galloper Charles Road had pulled up well from his first-up effort in the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) where he was seen making up good ground in the concluding stages of the first start in his new spring campaign. – NZ Racing Desk
Andoyas Produces Eye-Catching First Up Run- NZ Racing News
07 Aug 2018Young Japanese apprentice jockey Taiki Yanagida may have some good-natured ribbing coming his way on Monday morning after he guided the Lee Somervell trained Stradivarius to victory at Te Rapa on the weekend.

Yanagida is apprenticed to the Matamata training partnership of Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott and it was stable runner Andoyas who Stradivarius held out in a desperate finish to the rating 82 1400m contest.

Former Hong Kong galloper Andoyas caught the eye with his sparkling finish, one of the few horses to make ground from the rear on a day where on-pace runners were favoured.

The eight-year-old German bred runner won three races during his Hong Kong career and will be better suited over more ground. He looks a ready-made prospect for some of the feature summer staying events for a group of well-known owners that include former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull, former New Zealand soccer player and coach Ricki Herbert and Waikato Racing Club chief executive Ken Rutherford.
 - NZ Racing Desk

https://youtu.be/YSxTXMsyvBM
Tougher tests await Nirvana in Fire- NZ Racing Desk
22 Jul 2018

Nirvana In Fire who was untroubled to score at Te Rapa  - Trish Dunell

Speedy youngster Nirvana In Fire has put himself in the mix for next season’s early three-year-old features.

“That’s the plan, although it’s going to get a bit tougher from here on in,” said Lance O’Sullivan, who trains the colt with part-owner Andrew Scott.

Nirvana In Fire continued his successful juvenile campaign at Te Rapa on Saturday with a hollow victory in the New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series Race (1100m).

The son of Showcasing was quickly into stride to make the running and he was never headed.

“He had a bit of race day experience on his side and I’m thrilled for Andrew and the team that races him,” O’Sullivan said.

Nirvana In Fire has now won twice from six appearances his only unplaced performance came when he tailed the field home in the Karaka Million (1200m).

“We probably rushed him a bit for that, but everyone wants a ticket for the big prize and it was a bit too soon for him,” O’Sullivan said.

Nirvana In Fire was ridden on Saturday by Cameron Lammas, who said he had no worries during the race.

“He’s got gate speed and did it easily. He’s matured a lot since the last time I rode him.”

Nirvana In Fire scored by two and a-quarter lengths from Heavenly Emperor, who gave a good account of himself on debut. He unwound strongly after being pushed along to keep in touch 600m from home.

Hapi Ella continued her run of solid form by taking third with the first-timer McEdith next home. – NZ Racing Desk.

Patience key to talented son of Galileo- NZ Racing News
16 Jul 2018

Well-performed overseas performer Giovanni Canaletto won’t be a player at the Hawke’s Bay carnival.

The six-year-old will instead be given more time by trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott with their focus now on a summer programme for the chestnut.

Andrew Scott Photo: Trish Dunell

“He’s been in and done a bit of work and we’ve tipped him out again on the hills,” Scott said.

“We wanted to get him familiar with the stable and he was very well-behaved the whole time.

“We’re in no rush and we’ll give him another month off and bring him in toward the back end of August so we’re looking at the Christmas racing and beyond.”

Scott said if Giovanni Canaletto can reproduce anything like his European and Hong Kong form the chestnut would be competitive in feature domestic races.

“He’s going to be an interesting horse over the summer months,” Scott said.

Giovanni Canaletto finished fourth in the Gr.1 English Derby (2400m) and third in the Gr.1 Irish Derby (2400m) before stints in Hong Kong with Tony Cruz and later Paul O’Sullivan.

Although he failed to win in six starts, he did finish third in the 2016 Gr.1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) behind the New Zealand-bred Werther.

Giovanni Canaletto is owned by Hermitage Thoroughbreds, who also raced the now-retired 2016 Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) winner Willie Cazals. 

“Willie had all the time off like this chap is having and that worked the oracle so we’re hoping it does again,” Scott said.

Willie Cazals returned from tendon injuries to triumph in the Hawke’s Bay feature and Giovanni Canaletto is on the way back from similar issues. – NZ Racing Desk.

Mare a Beauty of Wet Tracks- NZ Racing News
08 Jul 2018Winter track specialist Sleeping Beauty didn’t let a chance pass her by at Tauranga.

She revelled in the heavy going to bounce back to her best and win for the sixth time in her 13-start career when successful in the Aongatete Coolstores Limited Premier (1200m).

Raced by Sir Peter Vela, Sleeping Beauty had struggled in the opening two runs of her current campaign on ground firmer than is her preference.

“Her two trials before her first two runs were super and we thought she was flying, but she ran into a couple of tracks that were too good,” said Andrew Scott, who trains with Lance O’Sullivan.“

Sir Peter and (racing manager) Gary Cossey have been really patient. This was her first run for seven weeks, so that was a question mark, and it’s fantastic to see her back in form now the winter tracks are here.

”Sleeping Beauty was ridden by the stable apprentice Taiki Yanagida and he had the Rip Van Winkle mare in the hunt early and she proved superior in the run home.“It was a good ride, he showed good judgement in letting her slide up to the leader so it’s good for his confidence,” Scott said.“The weight relief was a massive help, with 52.5kg it brought her right into the race.”

Sleeping Beauty challenged the front-runner Temple Tiger 250m from the post and edged clear to win by three-quarters of a length.

I'm really happy. The four kilo claim helped her and she loves we tracks," Yanagida said. 
Trainers Following Proven Process with Import- www.racingnews.co.nz
02 Jun 2018

Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott are following a path with Giovanni Canaletto that has previously earned the stable Group One honours.

The Matamata trainers are hoping to emulate their 2016 efforts with another Irish-bred galloper in Willie Cazals, who came back from serious injury to win the Livamol Classic (2040m).

Like Giovanni Canaletto, he enjoyed a successful European and Hong Kong career before bowing a tendon and a having lengthy period of recovery in New Zealand.

“Willie had all the time off like this chap is having and that worked the oracle so we’re hoping it does again,” Scott said.

“It’s a proven process to get them back to the top level.”

The now retired Willie Cazals was raced by the Hong Kong-based Hermitage Thoroughbreds, who have again entrusted their faith in Wexford Stables to return the six-year-old Giovanni Canaletto to his former glory.

The son of Galileo was a winner from the stable of famed trainer Aidan O’Brien and finished fourth in the Gr.1 English Derby (2400m) and third in the Gr.1 Irish Derby (2400m) before stints in Hong Kong with Tony Cruz and later Paul O’Sullivan.

He failed to win in six starts, but did run third in the 2016 Gr.1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) behind the New Zealand-bred Werther.

“He’s obviously a very good horse and he would be competitive in our best races for sure,” Scott said.

“He’s still out spelling and I saw him three weeks ago and he’s looking good. We’ll give him every opportunity in the spring, we’re excited about getting him back in the stable.” – NZ Racing Desk.

Stayer all the Better for Sydney Experience- Racing News
17 Apr 2018
(Sir) Charles Road downs Ventura Storm to win the Gr.2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick. - Photo: Bradley Photographers
(Sir) Charles Road downs Ventura Storm to win the Gr.2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick.

Photo: Bradley Photographers

Charles Road will return home this evening after going a long way toward realising his staying potential in Australia.

His Matamata trainers believe the trip will prove a coming of age experience for the four-year-old, who excelled in both of his Sydney outings.

“We were all very proud of him and he left it all out on the track, he tries so hard,” said Andrew Scott, who prepares the gelding with Lance O’Sullivan for owner David Archer.

“He’s one of the big improvers and the trip will be the making of him. There’s a lot of improvement to come.”

Charles Road won the Gr.2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick and backed up strongly last Saturday to finish third in the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m). He banked more than A$265,000 from his two appearances.

“He has lacked experience and maturity, but this season he has gone forward and really hardened up,” Scott said.

“He’ll get home and go out to David Archer’s property for a well-deserved break and we’ll work out a spring plan in due course.”

Meanwhile, the stable has a number of promising younger horses engaged at Matamata on Wednesday. The prospect of a heavy track has Stella Daze (New Zealand Bloodstock Pearl Series 1600m) and Inigo Montoya (Matamata Glass & Joinery 1600m) rated among their best prospects.

“I think Stella Daze will handle it, she’s got a bit of racing and fitness on her side and Inigo Montoya raced through the summer and is still going very well,” Scott said.

The former ran a couple of fourths before finishing third at Tauranga while Inigo Montoya was a last-start second on his home track toward the end of March. – NZ Racing Desk.

Going No Concern With 2YO- Racing News
17 Apr 2018
Nirvana In Fire - Photo: Kenton Wright

Wetter tracks won’t be inconveniencing the talented two-year-old Nirvana In Fire.

“He won’t mind soft ground so it’s all in front of him,” co-trainer and part-owner Andrew Scott said.

Nirvana has won one of his four starts and recently returned from a break to finish runner-up at Rotorua behind More Wonder with subsequent Hastings winner Madison County third.

“He’s still learning and wanting to overdo things and he just came to the end of it,” Scott said. “He will improve and he’ll run next on Saturday week at Te Rapa.” - Racing News

Adkins to guide Kiwi Cup Hopes Fortunes- NZ Racing Desk
11 Apr 2018

Andrew Adkins has been confirmed as the rider for Sir Charles Road in Saturday’s A$2 million Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick.

Blake Shinn was successful aboard the New Zealand stayer in the Gr.2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m), but he is unable to make this weekend’s weight of 50kg.

Sir Charles Road Photo: Trish Dunell

“It was a little bit of a battle. Originally, Andrew was going to ride him in the Chairman’s and when he was allocated 56kg the owner opted for experience,” said Lance O’Sullivan, who trains in partnership with Andrew Scott.

“I’m delighted to have Andrew on in the Cup, he’s an in-form jockey.”

O’Sullivan said Sir Charles Road had done well since his winning Australian debut.

“He’s come through the run really, really well. Looking at him this morning, you wouldn’t think he’d had a run.”

The four-year-old, who races as Charles Road at home, will face a stiffer test on Saturday.

“The competition will be far tougher, there’s no doubt about that,” O’Sullivan said. “He does get weight relief, but we’re certainly under no illusions.” – NZ Racing Desk.

Wexford Wins Chairman's Quality- NZ Racing News
11 Apr 2018

He's regarded as one of the greatest riders to come out of New Zealand and on Saturday Lance O'Sullivan combined with Andrew Scott to train his first Sydney winner when Sir Charles Road outstayed his rivals to win the Gr.2 Chairman's Quality (2600m) at Randwick. 

A year ago to the day O'Sullivan and Scott had their first Sydney runner when Summer Passage finished second in the ATC Sires Produce Stakes but a "10 out of 10" Blake Shinn ride delivered the stable a victory with Sir Charles Road in a driving finish.

A four-year-old son of Myboycharlie, Sir Charles Road outstayed the Hayes/Dabernig-trained Ventura Storm to win by a half-neck. "It was a great team effort," O'Sullivan said. "What a super ride. It was 10 out of 10, unbelievable."

"After he ran particularly well in the Auckland Cup we said 'let's have a crack, we're not taking on the Australian sprinters'. He certainly showed he was up to having a go."

"He's one of those fast staying types that has a kick and keeps going. He can go on wet ground or firm ground, it sort of doesn't worry him at all."

"This was the first target, one step at a time but of course given what he did today, we're very keen to push on to the Sydney Cup now."

Sir Charles Road's Sydney Cup quote firmed from $31 into $10 following the victory. The stayer will drop from 56 to 50kg in the A$2 million handicap next weekend.

 The Chairman's Quality win carried Sydney Cup ballot exmeption while Sir Charles Road cannot receive a weight penalty for the two-mile feature.
Sydney Cup beckons Charles Road- Racing News
21 Mar 2018Charles Road - Race Images
Well-performed stayer Charles Road is pencilled in for The Championships.

A lucrative domestic campaign has the Matamata four-year-old on the verge of a trip across the Tasman in a quest for Group One honours.

“If he comes through the next couple of weeks well we’re going to take him to Sydney,” said Andrew Scott, who prepares the son of Myboycharlie with Lance O’Sullivan.“He’ll run in the Chairman’s and all going well into the Sydney Cup.”The Gr.2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) will be run at Randwick on April 7 with the A$2 million Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) a week later.

Placed in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) on New Year’s Day, Charles Road won the Gr.3 City of Auckland Cup (2400m) two runs later and last time out he finished sixth in the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m). He was less than a length and a-half from the winner Ladies First in the Ellerslie feature.“We were pleased with his performance and he’s just had a bit of a quiet time since and a freshen-up has done him the world of good,” Scott said.

Meanwhile, the promising two-year-old Nirvana In Fire has taken no harm from an unplaced effort after a tough run in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) and will trial at Taupo on Tuesday.“He was caught off the track from a wide gate at Ellerslie and that was that,” Scott said.“We’re looking to run him at Rotorua on April 2 and we think he’s in for a good autumn.”Gifted mare Sleeping Beauty, the winner of five of her 10 starts, will also be in action at the Taupo trials before her return to racing. – NZ Racing Desk.

CHARLES ROAD READY FOR TWO-MILE TEST- NZ RACING NEWS
04 Mar 2018While a number of candidates for the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) had their final hit-out at Ellerslie on Saturday, one of the leading contenders was safely tucked up back at his Matamata home base.

The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott trained Charles Road leapt to the forefront of Cup calculations with his win in the Gr.3 City of Auckland Cup (2400m) on Karaka Million night in January. A handy run for fourth in the Nathan’s Memorial (2400m) at Ellerslie last month kept him up to the mark with co-trainer Andrew Scott of the belief he is primed and ready for a big effort this coming weekend.

“He has done well since his last run and worked nicely at home on Saturday,” said Scott.“He didn’t get all favours on an off track last time as the race wasn’t really run to suit when they dawdled along and just sprinted home. He showed a good turn of foot and was finishing off well, so we were really pleased with how he went.“He’s a tall, athletic type of stayer who doesn’t need a lot of racing hence we didn’t think he needed to have another run before the Cup.“He will have his last serious gallop on Tuesday morning and then it will just be a count-down to Saturday.”

Scott believes maturity achieved through experience has played a key role in the gelding’s progress after a disappointing start to his campaign in the spring.“He’s just got better and better this campaign which we have put down to him maturing as he has gotten some more racing under his belt,” he said.“He can still do a few things wrong but he has settled better in his races. I guess you never know if they are going to get the distance of the Cup until they have tried it but on what he has shown us lately I don’t think it will be a problem.“What we do need is a good draw and a good run in the race as that is the key to it all. There look to be at least half a dozen good chances in the race so whoever gets the best trip will be the hardest to beat.”

Charles Road is currently rated as equal second favourite with Magic Chai at $6.50 on the TAB Fixed odds market for the race. Ladies First, who took out Saturday’s final lead-up race to the Cup, heads the market at a $4.50 quote. – NZ Racing Desk
MATAMATA PAIR IN GOOD HEART FOR ELLERSLIE FEATURES- NZ Racing Desk
27 Feb 2018Stablemates Charles Road and The Mayor did their upcoming Group One prospects no harm with encouraging last-start displays.

The former finished fourth in the Nathan’s Memorial (2400m) having won at his previous appearance over the same trip in the Gr.3 City of Auckland Cup, while the latter finished sixth in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).“It was a pleasing performance from Charles Road after getting shuffled back in the running off a slow tempo,” said Andrew Scott, who trains at Matamata with Lance O’Sullivan. “He quickened in the straight and hit the line well.”

Charles Road now heads to the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m), with his connections quietly confident he will run the trip out.“You never really know until you try, but things are looking good,” Scott said.“He will be at peak fitness so he’s being given every opportunity to run the two miles.”

Charles Road is the $6 second favourite for the Cup behind the $5 market leader Ladies First.Meanwhile, his three-year-old stablemate The Mayor is an $18 chance in Saturday’s Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m).“It was a good performance from him in the Guineas,” Scott said. “He pressed on well, a solid effort from a horse who is still learning and improving.”

The Mayor had won two of his previous three runs before taking on the best of his age group at Ellerslie. – NZ Racing Desk.

Charles Road - Trish Dunell
Charles Road

Trish Dunell

Pure Champion debuts in Book 3- www.nzracing.co.nz
03 Feb 2018

A 1400 kilometre trip has not deterred Willow Glen Stud owners Mike and Barbara Cooney who have travelled north from their Waimate farm to offer three colts by their resident stallion Pure Champion in New Zealand Bloodstock’s Book 3 catalogue.

They are the first yearlings to be offered by the Group One winning son of Footstepsinthesand.

Pure Champion Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

“We are really excited to offer three nice colts up here at Karaka by Pure Champion,” Mike Cooney said.

“They are all nice, correct colts. They have all travelled up here well and have been eating, drinking and sleeping and we are really pleased with the way they have arrived.”

The globe-trotting Pure Champion competed in Ireland, Hong Kong and New Zealand, winning stakes races in all three racing jurisdictions.

The highlight of his career was his half-neck victory over quality mare I Do in the 2014 edition of the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).

“He was such a fantastic racehorse,” Cooney said. “He raced all around the world and came back to New Zealand and won a Group One and Group Three.

“He’s been a great horse to have around, he’s a great server and good with the mares.”

Cooney will offer four Pure Champion colts at New Zealand Bloodstock’s South Island Sale in April under his Willow Glen Stud banner, alongside yearlings by Proisir, Darci Brahma, Jakkalberry, and the farm’s other resident stallion Saperavi. – NZ Racing Desk

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