New Zealand Derby winner Military Move has returned home after his form fell away in Hong Kong this year.
The Volksraad gelding was exported to Hong Kong after his classic triumph in the 2010 NZ Derby at Ellerslie. ”He’s back and I’m pretty happy about that,” trainer Shaune Ritchie said. ”He’s out spelling at the moment and will probably be set for the March carnival at Ellerslie.
‘”They retired him in Hong Kong. He wasn’t showing his Group I form in that grade up there.
Military Move (6g Volksraad – All Night Party by Just A Dancer) won in Class 1 company in October and December last year but was unplaced in a half-dozen starts for trainer John Moore this term.
Ritchie initially trained him for Steven Kit Sing Lo after the gelding made $110,000 at 2008 NZ Bloodstock 2YO Ready to Run Sale at Karaka. The Hong Kong based owner has gifted ownership to Ritchie’s wife Alison and Belinda Bellingham who is the wife of Lo’s Australian advisor Paul Bellingham.
His dam All Night Party was trained by Graeme Rogerson and won on both sides of the Tasman. She is a half-sister to Catalan Opening (Kaapstad), a G1 winner of the VRC Chrysler Stakes and AJC Doncaster Mile.
Cambridge based Ritchie isn’t getting carried away with the gelding’s prospects. ”Hopefully we can get him back to form but it’s hard when they come back from Hong Kong,” he explained. ”The handicap fields in New Zealand aren’t overly strong at the moment and the key will be whether he can run out a strong 2000 metres.”