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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Wednesday, July 12 2017

Wanganui trainer and dairy farmer Raymond Connors is taking two jumpers to Trentham on Saturday and while he has high expectations for one he is hoping to answer some questions with the other.

Wise Men Say  - Trish Dunell Photography

He will line-up talented jumper Wise Men Say in the Premier Grant Plumbing Wellington Steeplechase over 5500 metres and rates the hardened stayer his best chance of the day.

“Being over the ultimate distance on Saturday definitely brings him into it,” Connors said.

“Hopefully the heavy track will slow them up a bit so he can cruise along where he’s not so much off the bit.”

The Yamanin Vital gelding has had a solid preparation this time in with two wins and a placing from three starts.

Connors is hoping to continue that form into Saturday’s race and improve on last year’s fourth. However, he does have a slight concern in the seven-year-old’s tendency to give the field a lead before closing late.

“I think he’s racing a lot better this year so I’m going in with more confidence than last year,” he said.

“He’ll be in with a strong chance if he just doesn’t get that far back. That is the biggest worry.”

Meanwhile, Connors is hoping his other runner Max will answer some questions when he lines up earlier in the day in the Premier Anuka Smoker Wellington Hurdles over 3400 metres.

“There are some handy horses in the field,” he said. “I think the wet track will help him, but whether he has the speed to keep up with them is a question. I think we’ll learn a lot on Saturday.”

Although there is some concern heading into the race, Connors is taking a lot of confidence out of Max’s placing on the flat over 2100m at Awapuni last Saturday.

The Galant Guru gelding trailed the field by several lengths throughout the race before storming home late to run third.

“It gave me a bit more confidence about heading to Trentham after that run,” he said. “It shows he is in good spirits for it, but whether he’s up to the open hurdle or whether he is more of a steeplechaser we will just have to see.”

If Max performs well on Saturday, Connors said he would likely travel north to tackle the Schweppes Great Northern Hurdles at Ellerslie on September 9.

He would travel with stablemate Wise Men Say who will target the Pakuranga Hunt Cup at Ellerslie next month before having a shot at redemption in the Meadow Fresh Great Northern Steeplechase after falling in the race last year.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 12:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email