Star Galleria to do Cup prep in Canterbury

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Steven Reid has put in place the plans for his two stable stars heading in to the Spring.

The New Zealand Cup is very much the target for Star Galleria, and he will race exclusively in the South Island between now and the second week of November.

Utmost Delight, a dual Group 1-winning mare last season, will miss the Cup and instead focus on the Queen of Hearts against her own sex at Christmas in Auckland.

Star Galleria only had a month off after his Jewels placing in early June and is around a fortnight from being seen in public again.

“He’s hoppling and I expect he’ll be at the trials on September 1,” said Reid.

He is not prepared to risk small, unproductive races in the Cup lead-up, despite fellow aspirants No Doctor Needed and Jack’s Legend being based in the north.

“I’m not worried about Auckland races getting off the ground because his first start will be in the New Brighton Cup at Addington (September 14).

“I’ve tried to get them ready up here in the past and it just doesn’t stack up.

“I’m not even going to worry about it; he can go straight down there to (former training partner) Simon McMullan provided everything goes smoothly between now and then.

The Hannon Memorial (September 23), Canterbury Classic (October 5) and Ashburton Flying Stakes (October 22) is the preferred Cup route for Reid, then probably the Cup trials instead of Kaikoura.

It’s all systems go and the fact there is no Lazarus to has him thinking Star Galleria has at least some chance of winning the race.

“I feel he’s come back a touch better than he was last season and that gives me some confidence that he’s in with a real chance.

“There was not a lot between those best four-year-olds last season; it was often down to the draws.”

Utmost Delight has only just returned to Reid’s Pukekohe barn after eight weeks in the paddock at co-owners Paul and Mary Kenny’s property.

Reid can barely contain himself with excitement.

“I can’t believe how good she looks; she’s an absolute tank.

“Paul and Mary decided they didn’t want to go to the Cup and they’d rather target mares racing this season.

“So, there are three big races here in New Zealand, plus the Ladyship Mile and Queen of the Pacific in Aussie and those are her goals for this season.

“She’s only in to her second week of jogging so she’s still a fair way from getting serious just yet.”

Reid says he and his small staff are only working 11, but he can justify it given he has two bona fide stars in the barn.

“I expect I’ll be doing a bit of travelling in the next couple of years so I’m not too worried about being light on numbers.

“As long as the quality is up, you can sort of sustain the quantity being down.”

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