Airtime (NZ) on trial for G1 Queensland Derby

Cambridge three-year-old Airtime (NZ) will make his Sydney debut on Saturday and connections are hoping a bold showing will earn him a trip north for a crack at Group 1 company.

“He will run over 2000 metres at Randwick and a win will see him go up to Brisbane,” co-trainer Trent Busuttin said.  “He’s always been a horse that has showed us plenty but, being a December foal, the three-year- old races here came up six months too early.”

The G1 Queensland Derby hope won an Ellerslie maiden on top of the ground and showed his versatility with a last-start defeat of older horses on a heavy New Plymouth track.

Airtime (3g High Chaparral – Wollombi by Kaapstad) cost $120,000 from Ascot Farm at the 2011 NZB Karaka Premier yearling sale.  He is the first winner out of a winning half-sister to Listed SAJC Centaurea Trophy winner Class Eulogy (Kingdom Bay).

Busuttin’s prospects of a feature Ellerslie win this Saturday rests with Frances (NZ) in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes.  “She showed a lot early on and we bought her as a speed horse for the Karaka Million,” Busuttin said.  “As it’s turned out, she wants to get over a bit of ground and that’s why we’ve aimed her at this stakes race.”

Raced under the Patella Bloodstock banner of NZ Bloodstock’s Singapore-based representative Michael Kneebone, Frances weighed in three times from her first four starts before a break.  She was fourth when resuming and followed up with a fast-finishing second at her most recent appearance to give Busuttin confidence she will cope with a heavy track.

“She got through it at Counties and I think she’ll be fine as long as it’s not bottomless,” he said.  “We want to put some value on her and she’ll run a nice race.”

Frances (2f Murtajill – Red Tulip by Red Ransom) was a $15,000 buy from Cambridge Stud at the 2012 NZ Bloodstock Select yearling sale.  She is from a sister to Sydney winner Grand Traverse (Red Ransom) and a half-sister to Melbourne winner Face Off (Face Value).