There are plenty of ex-pat Kiwi’s residing in the suburbs around Brisbane and their numbers will be boosted even further when a couple more move into Doomben and Eagle Farm.
The New Zealand raiders are a familiar part of the Brisbane Winter Carnival and they are becoming increasingly successful after the journey across the ditch.
Firebolt and Hombre will be among the first to arrive in Brisbane, a place where they enjoyed plenty of success last season.
They are primed for similar performances this year after both running in the same Te Rapa 1600m event last week, Firebolt winning and Hombre coming home third.
It was a good result for trainer Roger James who has been anxious about the form of Firebolt and had been using a variety of methods to wind him back up.
“I felt he was not firing 100 per cent but he has enjoyed a few jump sessions and it seems to have got him back into form,” James said.
The ultimate goal is the Doomben Cup with the Chariman’s Handicap looking like the fancied lead up event.
Joining Firebolt will be stable-mate The Party Stand which shares similar Doomben Cup aspirations.
The mare has proven she’s in top touch this year after a win over 2000m back in March in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes.
The four-year-old then had more than a month off before returning on a heavy track to run fourth in the Easter Handicap over 1600m.
The Party Stand will have a different lead up when on Australian soil, expected to debut in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes over 1800m at the Gold Coast this weekend.
James was hoping for a three way assault at Brisbane’s biggest race carnival however his other horse Rasteau is no certainty after failing to secure the required prize money in Haweksebury.
The three-year-old finished fifth in the Hawkesbury Guineas leaving him with still less than $10,000 in cash earned making it all but impossible to earned start in any of the larger events north of the border.
It looks like he’ll now stay in Sydney for one more run and James will make a future racing decision depending on the performance and cash influx.
The lead up is different again for the much fancied The Hombre.
He will not have a start on Aussie soil until he takes to the track in the Doomben Cup towards the end of May.
Last year he won the Rough Habit Plate before going on to the Queensland Derby where he ran solidly but failed to place.
His trainer John Bary has no doubts as to the quality of the horse however he sees it as a race against time to have him developed enough to be a feature in the $500,000 event.
“He’s a monstrous horse physically now,” Bary said.
“But he’s still a boy in a man’s body. His run over a mile on Saturday was good because he is screaming out for 2000 metres now.
“He’s ready to rumble now and he certainly does appreciate the warm weather in Brisbane.”
Another of the much hyped New Zealand raiders is Shez Sinsational, she was originally set to join Firebolt and The Hombre on a mid-week flight however she’s been kept at home temporarily.
The Queensland Oaks is still well and truly on the cards though for the filly who has burst onto the racing landscape.
She won the $400,000 Treasury Casino Oaks last Saturday at Te Rapa by a massive six-lengths over the 2000m trip.
Her trainer Allan Sharrock was understandably ecstatic with the win which has him full of confidence for when they arrive in Brisbane.
“I was a bit worried about getting to Brisbane too soon. She has been a filly who has been inclined to lose body weight quickly,” Sharrock said.
“We cancelled plans to run her in the New Zealand Oaks in March because she was a bit light and planned for the Queensland Oaks to give her some extra time.
“The Doomben Roses on May 21 was an option but now I think she is better staying at home and have an easier race here and then go straight to the Oaks.”
The win saw the record of Shez Sinsational lift to four wins from seven starts with 2000m her longest victory however the manner of the win proves 2400m will be easily acheived.
Likely to join her in the Queensland Oaks will be Scarlett Lady which also recorded a Te Rapa victory.
The filly won the Group 2 Travis Stakes, also over 2000m, which took her record to four from eight under the guidance of Graeme Rogerson.