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KARAKA MILLION 3YO CLASSIC PROSPECT FOR HARLECH

Indecision with Harlech (pictured) is the outcome following his defeat at the hands of Travelling Light at Trentham on Saturday.

With Travelling Light clearly showing her class when winning the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m), Harlech fought strongly for second, a length and a quarter astern, while Riodini was a further two and a half lengths back in third.

A definite start in the Gr.1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 7 was on the line for Harlech going into the Trentham feature, but now a change of plans may occur, according to Mike Moroney, who trains the son of Darci Brahma in partnership with Pam Gerard.

“If he had won that (the Levin Classic) and won it well, he’d have come straight over (Australia) here and been set for the Randwick Guineas,” Moroney said.

“He’d have won a New Zealand Group One and if he could win a Group One here, like the Randwick Guineas, he’d be very valuable (as a stallion prospect).

“He still went a top race and she (Travelling Light) must be a very good filly. But now that he’s been beaten everything is up in the air at the moment.

“He’s had a trip away and we’ll see how he has come through it after a few days. We’ll go through the programmes and work out what is best for him. It’s a matter of looking at everything.”

The Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 25 is an option if Harlech remains in New Zealand longer, though Moroney was quick to inquire on the confirmation of the main opponent, the Jamie Richards-trained Probabeel, starting in the $1 million feature.

“Probabeel is the one to beat,” he said.

Harlech still remains in the nominations for the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on February 29 and Moroney said a start in the staying three-year-old feature is not out of the equation.

From eight starts, Harlech has recorded two wins and five placings, including four seconds, and, since winning the Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa in October, he has been runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie and now the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham.

“We’ve always said he’d be coming to Australia at some stage this season and we’ll have a decision later this week if he is to stay on in New Zealand a bit longer,” Moroney said.

While Harlech is destined for Australia, Moroney is gearing up to send Sound, a former smart German stayer, over from his Melbourne stable to his Matamata establishment.

“He has been freshened since he ran (fifth) in the Sandown Cup (Listed, 3200m) in November and he’ll have a jump-out this Friday,” Moroney said.

“He’ll have an 1800m race here first, in about a fortnight, then head to New Zealand, possibly for the Avondale Cup (Gr.2, 2400m) before the Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 3200m).

“He didn’t have a long break and he’s doing well.”

Other major contenders for the Moroney – Gerard stable include On The Rocks, who is on track for Saturday’s Gr.1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham, Pinmedown, Masetto and the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) contenders Tokorangi and Dragon Queen. - NZ Racing Desk
[13 Jan 20]

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