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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, April 07 2018

Talented three-year-old Upperhand moved a step closer to an Australian venture when he resumed in fine style at Riccarton.


Queensland carnival on Upperhand's radar - Race Images South

The son of Swiss Ace was returning to action after a five month break when he demolished his older opposition in the hands of Chris Johnson in the New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Sale April 20 Handicap (1200m).

“Chris suits him and gets him to relax, he’s magic,” trainer and part-owner Brian Court said.

Upperhand will return to Riccarton later this month and another strong showing could book his ticket across the Tasman for the Queensland winter carnival.

“We’ll come back here on April 21 and he may get his passport to Australia then. We could take him to Brisbane for the three-year-old races there, he doesn’t mind wet tracks either.”

Upperhand was a debut winner in the spring before he dropped out of contention in the Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m) after leading and again over-raced when unplaced in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

“He disappointed in the Guineas and the race before that, but he was a victim of circumstances being left in front so we turned him out and he’s come back and had a good trial,” Court said.

Upperhand settled at the tail of the field and when runners fanned out in the straight Johnson weaved his way through and the gelding strode clear for a dominant win.

“The horse does a bit wrong and that’s the reason we dropped out the back, but he picked them up quickly - he’s got the ability,” Johnson said.

“He raced greenly earlier in his career and if he can straighten out his manners, he’ll be a good horse.” 

Posted by: AT 10:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email