Big plans for Bolt For Brilliance

By Michael Guerin

This could be the season Bolt For Brilliance really makes his mark on the open class scene.

Because while the two-time Jewels winner was already an open class force last season trainer-driver Tony Herlihy says he is bigger and stronger heading to his new campaign and that ultimately he would like to take the still four-year-old to Australia in the next six months.

Bolt For Brilliance hasn’t raced since a stunning Jewels win and Herlihy is thrilled with how he has come back from his winter break.

“Every time we give him a spell he comes back bigger and stronger,” says Herlihy.

“He looks great and is a real pleasure to do anything with. He is a lovely horse in that regard.”

Bolt For Brilliance is working well for Herlihy at home and he hopes to secure races for him at Alexandra Park before heading south for Cup week, where he is the equal $5 second favourite for the Dominion along with Muscle Mountain. Sundees Son is the $2.40 favourite. He finished third fresh up at Addington last Friday.

“Getting one race, maybe two, up here would be ideal,” says Herlihy.

“Then I am keen to get him to Ashburton for the Flying Mile.

“That will be his first race down south providing we can get some racing up here.”

Herlihy attended one of the recent HRNZ meetings to discuss changes to the racing calendar where one major race swap at least discussed was the Dominion and NZ Trotting Free-For-All swapping days of Cup week, not that anything official has been decided around that.

Our most successful ever driver says he doesn’t mind the current situation.

“Some people say a mobile on the first day three days before the big 3200m race isn’t ideal but I think sometimes horses step better the next start after a mobile.

“So at this stage he is a chance to start in both races during Cup week, providing he is racing well.”

While Herlihy is not making any plans around the Inter Dominions set to start in New South Wales in late November, he is keen to take Bolt For Brilliance to Australia in 2022.

“I’d like to take him to Victoria, maybe for a race like the Great Southern Star and a few others.

“But a lot of that will depend on Covid restrictions. I am double vaccinated now so I am so not much worried about travelling along with him but like most horse people I’d struggle being in quarantine for two weeks if I had to be.

“Not only cause I wouldn’t like it but because I couldn’t afford to be away from the stable that long.

“So any Australian plans will depend a lot on that.”

Herlihy’s unbeaten juvenile trotter Double Delight has been given a long spell after her dramatic Jewels win and will not be rushed back to racing.

“She will have had 3 or even more months out by the time she comes back in and she won’t be heading to Australia this year,” says Herlihy.

“So her major aims will be next season when of course after racing here she could go to races like the Breeders Crown and Victoria Trotting Oaks late in the year.”

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