Former HK galloper set to make home return

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  • June 09, 2023
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Former Hong Kong galloper Not Ideal will make a return to New Zealand racing when he heads to Ruakaka on Saturday to contest the Marsden Metals Group Bream Bay Sprint (1400m).

Initially trained in his homeland by Tony Pike, Not Ideal won both of his starts for the Cambridge horseman before he headed to Hong Kong to further his racing career under the care of trainer Ricky Yiu.

The son of Nicconi won four of his starts in the Asian racing jurisdiction, including his last outing at Happy Valley in June last year before injury struck and he returned to New Zealand.

He has joined Ken Harrison’s stable and the Cambridge conditioner believes he has got on top of the gelding’s issues.

“It is the first time I have had one from Hong Kong,” he said.

“Our track rider got him through (bloodstock agent) Garry Carvell. He had a few injury issues in Hong Kong and hopefully we have sorted them out.

“He came to me about three months ago. He is a very nice horse and hopefully there are big things ahead for him. We just want to keep in sound.”

Not Ideal wasn’t initially earmarked to head to Ruakaka this weekend, but when Harrison saw the nominations earlier in the week and the Soft6 track conditions, he decided to make a late entry with his gelding.

“We were looking for a good track to give him his first hit-out and we thought Ruakaka would be a nice place to go,” he said.

“It was a late nomination as we were thinking it was going to be a bit wetter, but when the nominations came out and they were short and left it open, we chucked one in.”

Not Ideal was met by Good tracks in his previous two outings in New Zealand and Harrison is interested see how he will handle winter track conditions on raceday, with the Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) a potential target.

“A heavy track is a bit of an unknown with him. I see he won a couple of trials on Heavy ground but is untested on raceday,” Harrison said.

“It will be good to get a line on him this weekend and it is only a nine-horse field, which is even better.

“We are looking at the Winter Cup at this stage. We will see how he goes there and whether he goes to Hastings in the spring.”

Not Ideal has been lumbered with 62kg for his New Zealand return where he will be ridden by Kozzi Asano from barrier nine.

“We didn’t want to have too much dead weight on him. He may be a run short, but I think he will give a good account of himself,” Harrison said.

Harrison will also line-up Espresso To Go in the Accurate Books Bream Bay Cup (2100m).

“He just failed a little bit in the wet track last time. I thought being by Tavistock out of a Lonhro mare he might have handled the wet a little bit better,” he said.

“I was going to turn him out, but when this track came up I thought we are taking the other fella up, we may as well chuck a nomination in and see how he goes.” –

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