Defibrillate facing handicap challenge in Wanganui feature

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  • December 01, 2023
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By Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Handicap conditions won’t be in the favour of middle-distance specialist Defibrillate when the classy gelding contests the Listed Steelform Roofing Group Wanganui Cup (2040m) on Saturday.

The nine-year-old son of Shocking was a key figure in the top-flight middle-distance events last season and looked to be returning to solid form at Pukekohe last start when finishing fourth behind proven mares Aquacade and Aromatic.

A winner of 12 races and more than $1 million in stakes, Defibrillate enters the Wanganui feature with a testing 59 kilograms with Johnathon Parkes aboard.

“It’s a bit of a tough call with 59kg on his back, especially when the next ones have 56, 53.5 and the rest have 53,” Richardson said.

“It’s a nice race for him so we’re hopeful, and he’s been working really well.”

Since returning to Kiwi shores more than 12 months ago following three seasons with Patrick Payne in Victoria, Defibrillate claimed a sensational victory in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2050m), a race Richardson hopes to target again on Boxing Day.

Closer to Richardson’s Matamata base, he and training partner Rogan Norvall will have three representatives at the Te Rapa meeting on Saturday.

Leading a relatively inexperienced group of runners will be Snazzytavi, the lightly-raced four-year-old contesting the Lodge Real Estate 1400.

Warren Kennedy will retain the ride aboard the Cambridge Stud-owned mare after the combination were a game second behind Doddle fresh-up at Pukekohe in just her fourth career start.

“It’s a shame she’s drawn wide (barrier 14) because her work has been first class,” Richardson said.

“She’ll be aimed towards the Stella Artois Final (1500m).”

Expat-South African jockey Billy Jacobson will seek his first New Zealand victory at Te Rapa and will likely partner both Chante Moi and Therapeutic for Richardson’s stable, with Moving Melody a doubtful starter.

A daughter of Savabeel, Chante Moi will have her debut raceday appearance in the Lodge Commercial 1300, while stablemate Therapeutic will resume in the Cambridge Real Estate 1300 at his second start.

“Chante Moi is a nice filly that’s still learning, but whatever she does tomorrow she will improve on, as with Therapeutic.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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