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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Wednesday, November 29 2017

Matamata trainer Alan Tait is hoping to have finally turned the corner with Southern Icon after a frustrating year with the bold galloper.

Southern Icon -  Trish Dunell Photography

Southern Icon has won once during the year (fresh-up at Te Rapa last July) and run some sound races, but he has been plagued by viruses.

“He’s had two viruses,” Tait said. “Just when we thought we had got him right he got another one. It’s been such a frustrating year.”

Southern Icon did manage a fourth behind Underthemoonlight in the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) last August before tailing the field home a few weeks later at Ruakaka.

Freshened since that last run, he was given a hit-out at Tuesday’s Matamata trials and showed his usual dash in front in his four-horse heat over 1200 metres. He kept up a solid gallop to the line for regular rider Mark Hills to win by a length and three-quarters from Cool Tart.

“His action was good and I’m happy with that,” Tait said. “I’m just restricted where to go with him.

“He doesn’t go right-handed so that rules out most of the races up this way. There’s only the Group Three at Te Rapa (J. Sawp Contractors Sprint (1400m)) in a few weeks or he’ll have to go down to the central districts and I don’t really want to travel away with him first-up.”


Posted by: AT 04:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email