Winning trainer weighing up his NZ Cup options

By Adam Hamilton

Reigning New Zealand Cup champion Swayzee will make his long-awaited racetrack return, albeit just in a trial, at Menangle next Wednesday.

But trainer Jason Grimson says the powerhouse pacer is only an outside chance of returning to defend his crown at Addington in November.

“Queensland is his target for now, then we’ll think about the rest of the year,” he said. “But our focus is the hometown (NSW) Inter Dominion."

The Inter Dominions will start in late November, culminating in the final at Menangle on December 14.

“It was hard to do both last year, especially with all the travel involved to get to Auckland, down to Christchurch, back to Auckland and to Brisbane.

“If you could get direct flights to Christchurch, it would be so much easier.

“I’m not saying he won’t go back, but I’m leaning towards taking a different horse this year and focusing on the Inter Dominion with Swayzee.”

Grimson revealed a minor leg injury, which required treatment for an infection, had kept Swayzee away from the races for so long.

“He’d have been back for the Nullarbor (April 19) otherwise, but he needed some treatment and then we changed our plans to look ahead to Brisbane,” he said.

Grimson said his brilliant former Kiwi pacer Nerano was his likely NZ Cup contender.

“He’d be well suited. That’s why I’ll take him to Queensland early and have a go at the Redcliffe Cup from the standing-start,” he said.

Nerano will be part of a big team Grimson plans to take Queensland late this month.

“It’s getting too cold here (Menangle),” he laughed. “I’ll head up early and stay there right through with a team.

“With the open-class horses, there’s Swayzee, Nerano and I’ll also take Hi Manameisjeff for the sprint races, too,” he said.

“I’ve got Frankie Ferocious for the Rising Sun, Illavabubbles for the mares’ races and Royal Dan for the trotting races.”

Chariots Of Fire winner Frankie Ferocious hasn’t raced since finishing a fantastic fourth to Leap To Fame in the Miracle Mile on March 9.

“He’s almost ready to go again,” Grimson said. “I’d say he’s two, maybe three weeks away from a trial.

“He’ll have a fairly light winter, though. I’d say he’ll have three runs up there because the TAB Eureka is his main aim in September.

“He can run in a restricted class race, then the Rising Sun and maybe the Sunshine Sprint as well.”


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