Bolt back at Alexandra Park
By Michael Guerin
The Alexandra Park carnival for next month may be a watered down version of recent years but that won’t stop the north’s best trotter from turning up.
In fact, champion horseman Tony Herlihy says it may be exactly what Bolt For Brilliance needs.
The two-time Jewels winner is back in work at Herlihy’s stable after a brave but well-beaten third in Sundees Son’s record-smashing Dominion at Addington two weeks ago but without his usual December targets to aim at.
With the harness racing calendar being restructured Alexandra Park features like the group one National Trot have been moved, leaving next month with a $30,000, $25,000 and $17,500 trot for the open class horses but Herlihy says Bolt For Brilliance will be there.
“He is back in work now and I think a couple of races like that away from the really hard open class racing he has had will do him some good,” says Herlihy.
“The races he has been in have been so tough that to get back into a comfort zone up here and maybe win a race or two will be good for his confidence and if he races well over the carnival we can look at Australia.”
Kiwi trainers looking at Australia will be pleased by the news that MIQ will no longer be a part of Trans Tasman travel for most by mid-January, which undoubtedly increases the chances of our best horses racing at the major carnivals in Victoria and New South Wales.
"If he is going well enough there are a series of good races in Victoria including the Great Southern Star (A$300,000, February 4) which we would look at.”
While Herlihy is looking forward to getting Bolt For Brilliance back to the races he has a handy young trotter returning tonight in Bohemian Rhapsody (R2, No.6).
The well-bred filly won on debut in February and was rated good enough to take to Addington for the NZ Trotting Oaks and has been given a long break since.
“She showed a lot of talent last campaign and she should be stronger now,” says Herlihy.
“She will get better with more racing this summer but I think she would be better than this grade before long.”
Herlihy will bring some of his intermediate grade pacers back to the workouts this weekend so has fresh ammo for next month but has a tidy maiden in Badboybeau (R6, No.2) debuting tonight.
“He meets a nice enough field so like most maidens he will be better for the outing.”
Tonight’s meeting may lack some star power but it is pleasing to see a two-year-old trot (race five) getting a decent-sized field while the mobile trot (race eight) looks a spirited clash between In Sequence, Liaison and the much-improved Superfast Ninja.