Forsman hoping to build on early success

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  • April 04, 2024
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Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Andrew Forsman commenced a big week of racing in winning fashion on both sides of the Tasman.

Out of his Cambridge stable, Forsman prepared The Patron Saint to an impressive front-running win at Ruakaka on Wednesday.

A promising son of Dissident, The Patron Saint flew his outside barrier draw under Joe Doyle and was never headed in the maiden three-year-old 1600m contest, with 2-1/2 lengths back to race favourite Mister Meaner.

“We’d given him a bit of a freshen-up, he was thereabouts last prep, but he was just a bit weak, so we put him aside and he’s come back a lot stronger,” Forsman said.

“It was nice to see him do that fresh-up. We hoped to see him win a race this week, then if he could, he could be a candidate for the Championship Stakes (Gr.3, 2100m) on the 20th (of April) at Ellerslie.”

After initially establishing his Victorian stable at Macedon Lodge, Forsman moved to Flemington earlier this year, and promising three-year-old Riproar recorded a dominant fresh-up victory for the stable at Geelong on Tuesday.

A winner on home soil as a two-year-old, Riproar added a second victory to his Australian record in a Benchmark 64 contest over 1340m, closing strongly under his 60kg impost.

“It was good to get him underway again after a long lay-up, after almost six months since he last raced. He didn’t quite hit his straps in the spring, I think it was all a little bit too much, too soon for him,” Forsman said.

“He’s come along really well after the break, and it was testing enough track for the distance there at Geelong.

“We’ll see how he comes through it, but there are a few Guineas options in the next couple of weeks. There is the Bendigo Guineas over 1400m next Saturday, but we may look to the Mornington Guineas over a mile on the 20th instead.”

Another Australian representative will resume on Saturday, with four-year-old Mr Maestro facing a stern task in the Gr.3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield.

The talented son of Savabeel has been successful at Listed and Group Three level across the Tasman, in a career hindered by soundness issues.

“He had a tendon injury in the autumn and we gave him a light spring, so now we’re hoping to get some runs into his legs and make plans after that,” Forsman said.

“It’s a very good field on Saturday and obviously we didn’t want him to resume in such a strong race, but there weren’t many options and he’s pretty much ready to go.

“It’s a matter of lining up and getting the run into him without too many expectations, but he is coming up well and we’re happy. It will be a hard run 1400m, hopefully he can settle back and run on well, and we can press on from there.”

Back in New Zealand, the rain forecast for the Wellington region is posing a query for Red Sea, as the impressive Pierata colt readies for the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

A decisive last-start winner over 1200m at Matamata, Red Sea will partner with regular rider Warren Kennedy in an attempt to dethrone all-conquering filly Velocious, among a string of other classy performers.

“It’s a big step-up in class, and the rain-affected track is an unknown, he hasn’t really been tried on what may become a Slow to Heavy track,” Forsman said. “The distance is also a query on a big track.

“He’s a horse that likes to jump and run, he was better with blinkers on last time, but it’s whether he can run out the 1400m in the track conditions at Trentham.”

A Forsman runner that will be undeterred by a downgrade in track conditions is White Noise, who will likely head to Trentham over the Open 1300m event at Pukekohe.

The El Roca five-year-old will aim to add to his three black-type victories in the Listed Bramco & Granite Flying Handicap (1400m) under an in-form Masa Hashizume.

“I’m probably leaning towards Trentham now with the rain forecasted, a bit of give in the track will help him and the weight he will carry (54.5kg). We’ll have to make a call on Wednesday whether we send him down or not,” Forsman said.

“He’s really well, we’ve given him a couple of trials and we’re happy with where he’s at.”

Also benefitting from a softening in the surface, Moonlight Magic and Wren will return to Trentham after finishing 6th and 11th in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) last month, this time to contest the Gr.3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic (2100m).

“They both just got a long way out of their ground in the Oaks,” Forsman said.

“Moonlight Magic was probably the better of the two, her last 600m was good and we’ve put the blinkers on her to hopefully sharpen her up.

“Wren got a long way back in an awkward spot, and she’ll appreciate the smaller field on Saturday. The rain affected track will help both of them.”

Completing Forsman’s contingent will be Koheroa, a lightly-tried son of I Am Invincible attempting to build on a deserved maiden win in early January, which followed a second placing behind subsequent Group Three-winner Certainly.

“He’s a nice horse that’s always shown good ability,” he said.

“We gave him a break as we always thought he would be better with a bit more time, but he might be a bit of an unknown if the track gets too wet as well. It is a query for him fresh-up.

“We just want to test the waters against some of the better ones in his own age group, and he gets a nice chance to do that on Saturday.”

Koheroa will contest The Oaks Stud Premier (1200m) with Michael McNab aboard.


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