Former New Zealand Derby winner Military Move took another step in his return to racing with a comfortable win at the Paeroa trials last week.
The strapping son of Volksraad is back in the care of his original trainer Shaune Ritchie after a stint in Hong Kong where he raced on 19 occasions for 2 wins and 3 placings.
“I think he just started to get a bit tired of the environment in Hong Kong,” Ritchie explained. “We went up and watched him last year he wouldn’t load into the barrier and played up which isn’t like him. We managed to get him back here and have taken it slowly since then.
“Right now we are just trying to work out whether he still wants to be a racehorse and if he shows us any signs that he has had enough then he will be retired immediately. But he’s been nice and keen so we are going to press on.”
Military Move (NZ) will make his return to the track over 1400m at Te Aroha on Saturday, April 6. “I don’t expect him to win but I will want to see him put himself in the race and show he wants to be there. If he does that then we will look to a couple more starts before putting him out for a spell with the Hawkes Bay carnival as an option later in the spring.”
Military Move (6g Volksraad – All Night Party by Just A Dancer) was exported to Hong Kong after his G1 NZ Derby triumph at Ellerslie in 2010. Windsor Park Stud had originally sold the youngster for $75,000 at the 2008 NZB Select yearling sale.
Ritchie trained him for Steven Kit Sing Lo after the gelding was pin-hooked for $110,000 at 2008 NZB 2YO Ready to Run Sale at Karaka. Since returning home, the Hong Kong based owner gifted ownership to Ritchie’s wife Alison and Belinda Bellingham who is the wife of Lo’s Australian advisor Paul Bellingham.