The Brian and Shane Anderton-trained Gallant Boy will head into the Listed Christchurch Casino Easter Cup (1600m) in a freshened state and his connections believe he is ready to make it back-to-back stakes victories on Saturday
The eight-year-old son of Gallant Guru was victorious last-start in the Gr.3 White Robe Lodge Weight For Age (1600m) at Wingatui in February and his trainers are eyeing a tilt at the Gr.3 Coca-Cola Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) at Riccarton next week if everything goes to plan on Saturday.
“It was a great run (last start),” Brian Anderton said. “He got everything in his favour and it was a good ride. The horse pulled out all the stops to win. He’s won ten races now, so he is a real honest type of horse.
“He’s well, he has freshened up nicely and we intend to run him again at Christchurch the following week in the mile and a quarter (Gr.3 Coca-Cola Canterbury Gold Cup, 2000m).
Gallant Boy may be rising nine, but Anderton said his gelding is improving with time and is in the form of his life.
“The funny thing about him, when you get a horse who is an eight-year-old people start thinking they are getting buggered, but he’s probably the best we have ever had him,” he said.
“He’s matured now and thickened up and has improved with age.”
Gallant Boy hasn’t raced since early February, but Anderton is happy with his charge, who will jump from barrier two under jockey Terry Moseley with 58.5kg on his back in the open handicap.
“He’s had a jump-out and has done enough work, we are just happy with him,” he said.
“He’s gone up in the weights, but the thing about it is you get penalised for consistency and he’s been a consistent horse all the way through.
“He’s going to be competitive. He didn’t go so well in the Timaru Cup. But we rode him too handy, he seems better when he is ridden back a bit.
“He’s just going to jump and sit wherever he wants. He doesn’t have to worry about pulling back to get in or going ahead to get in, he will already be there.”
The Andertons will be hoping to record further black-type success at Riccarton when Larippa lines up in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
The three-year-old daughter of Rip Van Winkle is on a path towards next week’s Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m), but Anderton said she will have to acquit herself well to warrant a start in that race.
“She’s going to be tested, but our ambition has always been the Warstep Stakes over a mile and a quarter. We have just got to have a run and see how we shape up,” he said.
“She’s got to measure up. She’s won her maiden, but as you go up it gets harder. If she runs on well in that field we would be going on to have a go at the Warstep Stakes.” – NZ Racing Desk