Winter Bride is set to cross the Tasman to tackle New Zealand Group One spoils. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli
Toby Edmonds has confirmed multiple stakes winner Winter Bride for New Zealand’s major sprints and his Gold Coast stable could also have contenders in both Karaka Million events.
It will be the first foray onto the New Zealand racing scene for Edmonds, who has taken his son, Trent, into a training partnership this season, and he has his sights with Winter Bride firmly locked in on the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day and the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham on January 18.
“Winter Bride is definitely going over and there’s a chance we could have a couple (Disco Lights and Champagne Toots) for the Karaka Millions,” Toby Edmonds said.
“I’ve never taken a horse to New Zealand before, but we’ll look at all options, both here and in New Zealand, and the New Zealand sprints have been on the radar for the last 12 months for Winter Bride. She will fly over on December 21.”
A winner of nine of 24 starts with earnings of more than $A570,000, Winter Bride was third to the Tony Pike-trained Bostonian in the Listed Daybreak Lover (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast last year and went on to win her next four races, the first two in Queensland and the others Group Three events at Caulfield.
The Not A Single Doubt mare also won the Gr.3 Wenona Girl Quality (1200m) at Randwick in March and was three times placed at Group Two level (Sydney and Brisbane) before two starts at Moonee Valley when unplaced in the Gr.1 Moir Stakes (1000m), won by Nature Strip, and seventh in the Gr.1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
“Though she wasn’t placed in the Manikato she went all right,” Edmonds said.
“She’s had a good break since she went down to Melbourne and she’s freshened up nicely.
“She’ll have a couple of trials here before she goes to New Zealand.
“It’s worth finding out if she’s up to Group One over there.”
Disco Lights, a filly by Showcasing, is currently 10th in the order of entry for the Karaka Million 2YO Classic (1200m), while Champagne Toots, a daughter of Sacred Falls, is a hopeful to get to the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) with both events at Ellerslie on January 25.
Disco Lights and Champagne Toots were previously trained by Liam Birchley, who purchased them from New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales at Karaka for $160,000 each.
Disco Lights has had two starts for a third at Eagle Farm and a fourth at the Sunshine Coast, while Champagne Toots was placed twice in five starts for Birchley and won first-up for the Edmonds stable, scoring over 1350m at Doomben earlier this month.
“They’ve both got to do a bit more to go over to New Zealand,” Edmonds said. “But they show promise. The Sacred Falls (Champagne Toots) won nicely.”
Edmonds also plans to tie the Karaka Million raceday in with his first experience of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales at Karaka, buoyed by the success of New Zealand-breds in his stable.
“I’ve got a consistent Ocean Park mare, Ocean Addict (three wins and six placings from 11 starts), and a couple of nice two-year-olds, including a Sacred Falls colt, as well as the two I’m hoping to bring over,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to going to the sales (at Karaka).”
In the meantime, Edmonds said he is well on the way to full recovery from injuries he suffered when trying to stop a runaway horse at the Gold Coast track on November 11. He was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital suffering from cuts to his head and underwent scans.
“I ended up with a couple of stitches in my head and I’ve had to take it quiet for a while,” he said. “I’m lucky to get out of it that well.”