A convincing barrier trial win has put former New Zealand galloper Neo on target for a tilt at Queensland’s summer series of races.
Neo did his early racing under Caulfield Cup-winning trainer Murray Baker before joining Stuart Kendrick’s Caloundra stable earlier this year.
At his fourth start for Kendrick he won the Prime Minister’s Cup at the Gold Coast, earning a spot in the Group One Doomben 10,000.
Kendrick gave Neo a good spell at the end of the Brisbane winter carnival with the aim of bringing him back for the summer triple crown comprised of the Group Three George Moore Stakes (1200m) on November 21, the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) on December 12 and the Listed Bernborough Stakes (1600m) on December 19.
Neo indicated he had returned in good style with an impressive 850m trial win at the Sunshine Coast on October 13.
“He did trial well and I was pleased with the effort. He will have a couple of starts and then we will keep him fresh for the summer races,” Kendrick said.
“He will be suited in the George Moore and Lough Neagh but the jury is out on whether he will run a strong 1600 metres in the Bernborough.
“Neo won up to 1600 metres in New Zealand but it was in lesser company, so we will see about that.”
Kendrick has also entered impressive debut winner Tarzan for the Nugrow Organics Hcp (1110m) at Doomben, along with a race at the Sunshine Coast this weekend.
Tarzan overcame his inexperience to demolish a maiden field at the Sunshine Coast on October 11 and Kendrick is weighing up where to start him next.
If he runs at Doomben he will clash with stablemate Banda Spice.
“I was surprised Tarzan was a bit green in the win because he hadn’t shown that in his jump-outs. I am in two minds about where to start him,” he said.
“I have Banda Spice in the same race and he should have won last start after being trapped deep. I also have a big opinion of Banda Spice.”