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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, June 03 2017

Hard Merchandize has enjoyed a productive first season with performances that have come under scrutiny from overseas.

Hard Merchandize (inner) downs Bombard - Race Images Palmerston North

The youngster closed out his two-year-old campaign at Wanganui on Saturday with a gritty display to claim the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes, after which trainer Gary Vile confirmed the offshore following.

"There has been some interest from Hong Kong, but nothing has come to the fore so as far as I'm concerned he's staying in New Zealand," he said.

Hard Merchandize sat in behind the leader and he responded courageously to rider Hayden Tinsley's urgings to drive home along the fence and nab the northern visitor Bombard on the post.

They were well clear of Satin Belt and Allure, who made ground from the tail of the field.

"He's a tough little horse who puts his head down and has a real go," said Vile, who shares in the ownership.

"He's a nice, professional horse who does everything right. He took the trail, travelled well and then took the gap."

Hard Merchandize now has three wins, a placing and a fifth in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes from his five appearances.

"He's going to the paddock now and I'll have him back later on for a Wanganui Guineas preparation," Vile said.

Hard Merchandize was purchased out of Little Avondale Stud's 2016 Select Sale draft at Karaka for $38,000 by Vile. The gelding is the first black type winner for the Cambridge Stud resident Burgundy.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 05:57 am   |  Permalink   |  Email