Harris champing at the bit

Summer racing is upon us and Paul Harris could not be more excited.

The Rangiora trainer will take a strong team south to Cromwell’s two-day meeting this weekend, starting with the Central Otago Racing Club meeting today.

“It’s always a good time of year where most of the bigger trainers, like ourselves, set our horses for Christmas and this is the start of it,” he said.

“I am really excited, it’s the first time I will be down there. It is all a bit new and I am looking forward to getting down there and having a look around.”

Harris is taking a handy team south and he is particularly excited about the prospects of Riverfalls, the 4yr-old full-sister to undefeated Group 1 winner Aegon.

“We have got her on lease. We have been receiving a lot of phone calls to buy her, but the guys want to keep her for themselves. The more Aegon does the more valuable she becomes.

“She has never looked so good and her work has been great. I am really quite confident with her. I think she will go a really nice race [today] but I think she will be very hard to beat on Sunday.”

While Harris is hoping she can add a second win to her tally this weekend, her ultimate goal is to gain black-type when she contests the Listed Hazlett Stakes Open (1200m) at Wingatui on Boxing Day.

Stablemate Wannabe ‘N’ Paris has placed in two of her three starts and a trip north to Trentham is in the offing if she performs well this weekend.

“She is a lovely mare. I am pretty confident of a very forward showing from her[today]. If she wins she will probably come home because I have earmarked some races for her in summer. I am quite keen to take her to Wellington.”

Harris is also looking forward to lining up well-travelled 9yr-old Green Dispatch over the weekend.

“I think Green Dispatch has turned the corner,” Harris said. “He has won over a million [in prizemoney], was placed in the French Derby, and was placed in a Group 1 in Hong Kong.

“I have been battling with him a wee bit, with him coping with the seasons. He has got himself out of kilter and he is only dropping his winter coat now.

“His main aim for this campaign will be the Dunedin Gold Cup in February, that will be his grand final.”

The Otago Racing Club meeting at Cromwell on Sunday will follow.

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