New Zealand colt Summer Passage will do his spring racing in Melbourne as connections chase an Australian Group One win.
Runner-up to Invader in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes during the Sydney autumn carnival, Summer Passage has been back in work with trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott since early May.
Summer Passage earned the trip to Australia for the Sires with his win in the Group One Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie in March to confirm his stallion potential.
“He’s not that far off trialling and, at this stage, that’s likely to be at Flemington on August 27,” O’Sullivan told NZ Racing Desk.
“Our preference is to go early and get him on the good tracks as soon as possible.”
Summer Passage is slated to resume in the Group Two Danehill Stakes (1200m) on September 16.
“Our main aim will be the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes so we want him to have some practice down the straight at Flemington before that,” O’Sullivan said.
Among the recent winners of the 1200m-event are stallions including Northern Meteor, Sepoy, Zoustar and Brazen Beau.
The race was won last year by Flying Artie who will stand his first season at Newgate Farm in the spring and O’Sullivan said Summer Passage’s connections are hoping he can become commercially attractive to Australian breeders.
“He’s a New Zealand stallion at the moment and I guess the next step is to make him a serious Australian stallion,” O’Sullivan said.