Faulkner hoping luck goes her way at Riccarton

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  • January 26, 2024
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Faulkner hoping luck goes her way at Riccarton

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Timaru trainer Stephanie Faulkner will head north to Riccarton on Saturday where she will line-up a quartet of runners on the nine-race card.

Heading her charge will be Green Luck, who will make his raceday return following a 10-month absence, in the Listed Speight’s Timaru Stakes (1400m).

The former Hong Kong galloper sustained an injury following his third placing at the Christchurch track last March and Faulkner said it has been a long road to recovery for the now nine-year-old.

“He sustained a ligament injury back in March after he last raced. We were deciding whether to retire him or carry on and the owners were keen to give him another crack,” Faulkner said.

“It has been long, hard yards with him. He had five months out in a paddock in confined space. I have done lane work and road work with him and finally got him back up.

“He scanned really well and is in good form, so we trialled him earlier this month and he came through that well. I am really happy with his condition.

“He is beautifully balanced and very long-striding horse, so he always feels superb in his work. I do believe he feels as good as he has ever felt.”

While pleased with her gelding, Faulkner said Green Luck has lost some of his zip and believes he is now suited over more ground.

“I think he has lost a bit of his real sharp dash, so we will be looking to get him up over 2000m, providing he stays sound,” she said.

Green Luck has drawn barrier four for Saturday’s Riccarton feature, where he will be ridden by Brandon May.

“He will jump out well. He is so enthusiastic and he loves his work,” Faulkner said. “He will be somewhere in the first half dozen and let’s hope that he has got a bit of a sprint come the last 300m. To me he is more of a staying horse now, so they may be a bit sharp for him.”

Faulkner hasn’t made any set plans for Green Luck following his first-up assignment, preferring to see how he comes through the race before mapping out any further plans.

“I’ll get this race out of the way and then we will go and make a plan. We are not averse to going up north with him if we have to,” she said.

Faulkner will also line-up last start winners Richard Stomper and Papagena in the ODT Southern Mile Qualifier Rating 75 (1600m) and Inglewood Stud At Karaka 2024 Rating 75 (1200m) respectively.

“We hope the track dries out a little bit for Richard Stomper,” Faulkner said. “He wouldn’t want it like it is at the moment (Heavy8 on Wednesday morning), but I don’t think they have any rain forecast before Saturday, so it should be a really nice track come Saturday.

“If he jumps out with them, he should get a nice spot from barrier one. I am quite excited about him.”

Stakes targets could be in the offing for Papagena if she performs up to expectations this weekend.

“It is a shame she hasn’t won a stakes race because she is quite capable in the right conditions to go close in one,” Faulkner said. “She is always there trying her best and that is all we can ask for.

“We may head to one of those fillies and mares races to give her a crack (at black-type) because she is going to the broodmare paddock next season.”

Faulkner’s final representative on Saturday will be Smooth Operator in the Lot 933 Jon Snow Filly At Karaka 2024 (1800m).

“He is still very immature in mind and body, he is quite a big horse and is scared of a few things,” she said.

“When he gets his act all together, he will be a nice stayer in the future. He likes the sting out of the track a little bit. I wouldn’t discount him, he will be a nice place chance.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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