News

News briefs - 1st September

NZ HARNESS NEWS

News emerged from Victoria this morning that star pacer Hectorjayjay has suffered a leg injury and will miss racing for the rest of 2017.

This will count him out of October’s re-positioned Victoria Cup and the rich Inter Dominion series in Perth in November and December.

He ran a brave second to Kiwi pacer Smolda in last year’s A$1.1 Million Inter Dominion Final at Gloucester Park.

“Everyone involved with the horse is devastated,” co-owner Mick Harvey told Trots Media.

“He’s never looked better or been better and was working toward the Victoria Cup.

“But in the third phase of his trackwork he didn’t pull up well and scans revealed a lesion.

 “He will have a more detailed scan when the swelling goes down.

“The early prognosis is he will be out for six to 12 months.”

Hectorjayjay, trained by David Aiken, has won over A$1.1 Million in his career to date and was a last start Group 1 winner in the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in Queensland on July 15.

Classy mare back in work with Purdon

Trainer Barry Purdon reports brilliant mare Start Dreaming is edging closer to a racetrack return after a year away from the public eye.

The former Jewels and Breeders Crown-placegetter, now six, has had a career punctuated by injury but Purdon and her owners, including Brian West, have persisted due to her ability.

In fact, Purdon has noted that he rates her potentially the best mare he has trained in his storied career.

She’s currently jogging and, while you can’t look too far ahead with injury-prone horses, ahead of schedule to be race-fit and ready for the Queen Of Hearts at Christmas time.

Purdon’s pair of Group 1 winners from last season – Jack’s Legend and Mach Shard – are both in work and nearing resumptions, the former further ahead in his preparation and the one that will be seen at the trials first.

No spell for Breeders Crown winner

Pukekohe trainer Ray Green will attempt something never done before with Sunday’s Australasian Breeders Crown champion King Of Swing.

Rather than follow the usual formula of spelling the horse and bypassing Spring racing, Green is going to keep his star sophomore in work.

So, the lucrative Sires Stakes Series, which culminates in a Group 1 final at Addington on Cup Day in November, is firmly on the programme.

No previous juvenile Breeders Crown winner has ever contested the Sires Stakes Series, let alone won it, so this is uncharted territory.

 “We don’t give them long spells - they get them when they retire.

“He’ll have a short spell – probably a week –and then get straight back in to it.

“It’s too hard to get them back to that level after a long beak and starting from scratch.

“There are just so many opportunities for three-year-olds; it’s so incredibly lucrative.

“I don’t see why he won’t be contesting the Sires Stakes Series with a view to the final on Cup Day down south.”