Talented jumper Macklemore proved far too good for the opposition when winning the Ray Stevens & Heather Tasker Memorial Jumpers Highweight 2050 at Wanganui on Thursday and is in the frame for a trip across the Tasman.
Prepared by New Plymouth trainer John Wheeler, the seven-year-old has options looming at both Oakbank and Warrnambool.
“I haven’t really got anything set in stone for him,” Wheeler said. “I will probably have more of an idea over the next two or three days when I see how he pulls up.
“The long shot is the Great Eastern (4950m) at Oakbank in just over a fortnight, but failing that I will probably start him in the Brierly (3450m) on the first day at Warrnambool and then make a decision from there if we go on to the Grand Annual (5500m).
“I’ve won it The Great Eastern nine times and I would like to get it to 10 if I could and he is probably good enough to win it.”
A regular visitor to Australia and legendary conditioner of jumpers, Wheeler said that Macklemore aside, the cupboard is relatively bare.
“I’ve got nothing else, I lost a heap of jumpers last year before they even jumped a fence and I haven’t really recovered so he is the only elite horse I have got at the moment,” Wheeler said.
“I’ve got six or seven youngsters that I have been teaching to jump, they will do a little bit this year and then we will see what they do next year.”
Meanwhile, Wheeler will send out Irish Flame in the Palmfeild Motors 1400 at Awapuni on Friday as a pipe-opener to the Gr.2 Manco Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 20.
“It is going to be on a flint hard track tomorrow, which might not be his go, so I will be happy if he runs in the first three,” Wheeler said.
“I am hoping for a bit of rain when we get to Auckland and he will get in the Easter on the minimum.” – NZ Racing Desk