Local hero Jimmy Choux (NZ) is primed to win the G1 NZ Bloodstock Insurance Spring Classic (2040m) at Hastings this Saturday.
The $300,000 event is the pinnacle of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown.
Formerly known as The Kelt, it’s the latest race to join New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance’s prolific sponsorship portfolio. The honours roll of recent winners includes Wall Street, Vosne Romanee, Princess Coup, Legs, Xcellent and Balmuse.
Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park) and fellow Karaka graduate Mufhasa (Pentire) have been the star performers of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown this year with the pair providing the quinella in the G1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) and the G1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).
Trainer John Bary had originally planned to miss the Spring Classic with Jimmy Choux in favour of getting the Rosehill Guineas winner to Melbourne well in advance of the Cox Plate where he is the clear $7 favourite.
The four-year-old has drawn ideally in barrier 2 with regular jockey Jonathan Riddell aboard.
The Jeff Lynds trained Karaka graduate Booming (NZ) put in one of the runs of the race in the G1 Windsor Park Plate. Last season the son of Don Eduardo won the G1 Zabeel Classic over 2000m before showing the brilliance to come back in distance and win the G1 Thorndon Mile.
Booming will enjoy the longer trip and will be one to watch as he holds nominations for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Hold it Harvey (King Cugat) will be looking to take the first Group 1 victory of the season for the NZB Ready to Run Sale. A winner of 14 races, he took the G2 Awapuni Gold Cup over 2000m last season and ran a very good third behind Jimmy Choux and Mufhasa in the Windsor Park Plate.
Karaka graduate Red Ruler (Viking Ruler) is no stranger to Group 1 racing and makes his first appearance in the Triple Crown for trainer John Sargent.
Sargent will also saddle up Dawn Ghost (Pyrus) who ran second to Hold it Harvey in the Awapuni Gold Cup and third in her next start to fellow runner Don Domingo in the G3 Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup last season.