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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Thursday, February 16 2017

Group One two-year-old features in Australia could beckon exciting Cambridge youngster Aim Smart.

Aim Smart showing a touch of class when scoring on debut at Pukekohe.

Aim Smart showing a touch of class when scoring on debut at Pukekohe.

That’s the tip from Michael Wallace, who manages the Tony Pike-trained Aim Smart for owners the China Horse Club. Wallace said, though a New Zealand Group One feature was the intermediate target for the Smart Missile colt, he wasn’t ruling out a trip to Australia.

A $200,000 purchase from November’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale for two-year-olds, Aim Smart isn’t nominated for the A$A.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18, but is entered for the Gr.1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 1.

An emphatic three-length winner at Pukekohe on debut last month over the highly-regarded Summer Passage, Aim Smart steps up to Group company for the first time at New Plymouth on Saturday when he tackles the Gr.3 Phoenix Park 2yo Classic (1200m).

“His first run was very impressive and he has thrived since then so we’ll head down to the Central Districts with a fair bit of confidence,” said Wallace.

“He will be all the better for that first race experience. He was on and off the bridle and he changed legs a bit. But based on his form and what he’s shown us at home, it will take a very good horse to beat him.

“He’s still at the learning stage and there are a few new things for him to overcome this weekend, but training at Cambridge they can work in both directions and he’s trialled left-handed and had no problems.

“There looks like a few slick horses in the field but he’s there to prove himself in that company and we think he will.”

The Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 11 is the likely progression for Aim Smart, but connections will then have to decide between two April 1 possibilites — the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni.

“We’re under no false illusions how tough it is over there [in Australia] for a two-year-old, but if he shows us he’s worthy then we’d have to consider that as an option,” said Wallace.

Saturday looms as an important day for the China Horse Club, which has shares in Artie Schiller three-year-old colt Flying Artie, who tackles the Gr.1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington for trainer Mick Price, and Choisir two-year-old colt Taking Aim, who contests Saturday’s Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) earlier on the card for trainers Peter and Paul Snowden.

Wallace said China Horse Club’s New Zealand numbers of gallopers were “reasonably small” but it had already enjoyed encouraging results through Group One-placed Mastercraftsman mare Mime with Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and Group Three-placed Teofilo mare Jiayuguan.

Others the group has in work include a two-year-old filly by Power out of Octapussy, named Caricature, close to racing with Tony Pike and a Written Tycoon juvenile, called Karisto, co-owned with Lib Petagna in the Baker-Forsman stable.

A handful of the 12 yearlings Wallace bought for the China Horse Club at the Karaka yearling sales will remain in New Zealand to race.

Posted by: AT 03:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email