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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Thursday, July 06 2017

Rising nine-year-old Taurus will be tested by a topweight and heavy conditions on Saturday when he lines up at Awapuni in the Norwood Farm Machinery Centre Handicap over 1400m.

Taurus - Race Images Palmerston North

The Evan and J.J. Rayner-trained gelding ran a solid third in his last start appearance in the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes and J.J. believes he will be a contender in Saturday’s race, despite the trying conditions.

“We would prefer to start somewhere else than Palmerston North because of the heavy conditions, but he needs the run,” she said. “He hasn’t run since the Ag Challenge Stakes, but has had plenty of work.”

Taurus will be ridden by Jonathan Riddell and will carry 60kg, giving main danger Dolcetto a 6kg advantage.

“The weight is a concern,” Rayner said. “He’s not a big horse and he gets hampered with the weight. He’s always carrying it and it can be quite frustrating.

“Some of those lightweights, like Dolcetto, will be hard to beat, but anything can get up in those (heavy) conditions.

“He’s really well heading into Saturday and we are confident he will run a good race.”

Taurus will next race in the Listed Opunake Cup on July 22 before a decision is made as to whether they take the trip down to Riccarton next month to compete in the Gr.3 eStar Winter Cup.

“At the moment in the Winter Cup he’s about sixth or seventh on the list, so that’s where we think we might head to later,” Rayner said. “Every other year we have gone down there he has been the topweight.

“We’ll line him up in the Opunake Cup before that and then look at whether we go to the Winter Cup, but at this stage we will.”

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email