Connections of Group One winner Sonntag have New Zealand’s major staying features in their sights.
Last year’s Queensland Derby winner ran a creditable third in Saturday’s Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) and trainer Henry Dwyer is now eyeing a trip across the Tasman in the new year.
The Werribee Cup and Bagot Handicap are short-term options in Victoria, while a staying race in Sydney next month is also a consideration.
“Longer term there’s the Wellington Cup and Auckland Cup in New Zealand which are both two mile races,” Dwyer said.
Dwyer had been aiming Sonntag at the New Zealand Cup (3200m) earlier this month but those plans were shelved when the gelding had a setback and missed a 2800m race on Melbourne Cup day at Flemington.
“We just had a little issue with him which meant he couldn’t run in that lead-up race on Cup day and he was just going to be behind the eight-ball,” Dwyer said.
“We’ll just be a bit patient and hopefully there’s a consolation prize in New Zealand a bit later.”
Sonntag has been nominated for the Group Two Wellington Cup on January 23 and the Group One Auckland Cup on March 12.