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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, June 10 2017

A plan that began to take shape months ago took a further step to fruition on the weekend when Our Bandit gave his rivals weight and a beating at Trentham.

Our Bandit  - Peter Rubery  (Race Images)

The rugged four-year-old handled the difficult track conditions with aplomb despite not having raced for six weeks as he made it four wins from his last five runs and set himself up for a tilt at the Gr. 3 eSTAR Winter Cup at Riccarton in early August.

Trainer Peter McKenzie was confident of a winning run having held the horse in high regard since he first spotted him at breeder Ray Stevens property over a year ago.

"Ray is an old mate of mine and I always pop by to see him and take a look at the horses he has around his place when I can," he explained.

"I liked the look of this guy the minute I laid eyes on him so I organised with Ray to lease him. I had a bunch of people who were keen to race a horse with me so we put together a syndicate and it has blossomed from there."

McKenzie admits he was taken by the Bushranger gelding from the minute he stepped him out on the training track but shin soreness meant a delayed start to his racing career.

"I knew he could gallop from day one but he was quite shinny so we put him aside to let him mature and gave him his first run back in February," he said

"He took a couple of starts to come to it but I think he is very exciting and has a real future ahead of him."

The immediate future is to sneak into the Winter Cup on a light weight, a task that has McKenzie walking a tightrope in the build-up to the 5 August contest.

"I've had a look at the immediate programme and there isn't much around for him between now and the Winter Cup," he admitted.

"I think the Whyte Handicap at Trentham and maybe a rating 85 at Waverley are the only real opportunities between then and now.

"I only have a small team at home so there isn't much to gallop him with so he is going to need a run or two.

"In saying that he doesn't take much to come to hand as he went in to Saturday after a few weeks off and handled it well.

"I actually hadn't planned to give him that break but there was an offer made for him which ended up turning to nothing so he is still with us and I'm hoping that turns out to be a great result for us all."

The eSTAR 120th Winter Cup is the feature event on the first day of Riccarton's traditional three-day winter carnival

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 06:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email