Telegraph Handicap winner Final Touch is likely to stay in New Zealand for the rest of the season despite an approach from premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller.
Final Touch had to carry 58kg topweight Saturday’s Group One sprint at Trentham but it didn’t stop her bursting through the pack in the final 150m to collar Xanadu and the favourite Burgundy.
It was her second Group One of the season after the Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at weight-for-age at the same Wellington racecourse in December.
Waller approached the mare’s Canterbury trainers John and Karen Parsons after she won the Captain Cook Stakes, and Karen Parsons indicated at the time that she could go in autumn.
But John Parsons told NZ Newswire on Sunday that if she was going to go to Sydney, it probably wouldn’t be until next season.
“She’s been up a while and if you want to go to Australia you want to be planning it, not doing it as an afterthought,” he said.
“To be honest, we haven’t given it any serious consideration. It’s a fairly big step up. We’ve taken horses over there in the past and it’s pretty tough.”
The Kashani mare was still underrated by some leading into the race and started at $14.50 despite a good record over 1200m.
“We weren’t brim-ful of confidence but thought that with a bit of luck in the running she’d give a good account of herself,” Parsons said.
Parsons said the victory would put Final Touch too far up in the handicaps meaning the only options left this season were two Group One weight-for-age features – the Waikato Sprint (1400m) on February 9 at Te Rapa and the Haunui Classic (1600m) at Otaki on February 23.
Both are potentially tough. Final Touch could face 10-time group one winner Mufhasa at Te Rapa while the Otaki race is set to be Cox Plate winner Ocean Park’s first race in a 2013 campaign taking in Dubai, England and Ireland.
“She’ll probably go to one or the other of them and then have a break,” he said.
“Neither option will be easy, that’s for sure.”
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