Trainer Jamie Richards will line-up three horses at Ashburton on Thursday, kicking off Te Akau’s annual southern migration.
“We have a team of four down there at the moment and we’ll send another four or five down at the end of the week,” Richards said.
The Matamata-based stable have been making the trip south well in advance of the New Zealand Cup Week for a number of years and have enjoyed great success.
“It’s been the tried and true method for us,” he said. “Mark Walker had a stable at Rangiora and since then we’ve utilised Riccarton as a base for many of our horses at this time of year.
“The weather improves a bit quicker down there than it does in the Waikato and you get to not only race them on better tracks, but also train them on better tracks. So, we find they come to hand a little bit quicker down there.”
Stakes-placed mare Swing Note will begin her four-year-old campaign in the Barneswood Farm Stakes Day 20th October (1400m), following a recent trial win at Te Rapa and placing at Te Teko.
“She’s strengthened up from three to four and we were a bit unlucky with her at the end of last year, so she’s going the right way and it’s a nice race to kick her off in,” Richards said.
“We’re going to try and work towards the open 2000m Spring Classic (on October 27) at Riccarton with her, which Grazia won last year.”
The other two Te Akau runners on Thursday are four-year-old geldings Summer Monsoon (Matt Smith Construction R65 1250m) and Bak Da Master (Placemakers Ashburton Maiden 1600m).
“I expect all three to run well, but certainly Swing Note and Summer Monsoon should go well,” Richards said. “Bak Da Master is first up at a mile after a couple of trials, so he might just appreciate this run.”