NZ imports showing promise

OTI’s Trial Tuesday is highlighted by four New Zealand imports who have all shown good performances in their recent trials in Australia. One of OTI’s most well-known New Zealander’s is I’m Thunderstruck, who was purchased after an impressive trial performance and has proven to be top-class in Australia.

Partnered with some of Australia’s most successful trainers, we hope these four can be just as competitive in their Australian racing career.

Belthil, possibly the first one to kick off his Australian racing career, had a positive first trial in mid-November and went on to win his second jumpout at Ararat on December 1 for trainer Andrew Bobbin. The 3yo son of Telperion arrived in Australia in August and has since shown very positive signs in his work. Belthil had two race starts before coming to Australia and will now be out to try and break his maiden at Geelong on December 16.

Belthil winning his trial at Ararat (light blue silks, orange cap).

Like Belthil, Ultimate Focus also has previous race experience in New Zealand. The 5yo broke his maiden very impressively in early-June. He has been brought along slowly to date but in his second trial on December 5 at Cranbourne he finished 2nd, leaving trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr discussing the options of a possible third trial or first Australian race start in the near future.

Ultimate Focus finishing 2nd in his trial at Cranbourne (white silks, dark red cap).

The 3yo son of War Decree, Melanin, joined Annabel Neasham’s stable in July and since has had two positive trial performances with another jumpout scheduled for next Tuesday. The gelding was purchased following promising trial outings at Cambridge. In his second jumpout in New Zealand, he missed the start by four lengths but was still able to finish a close 2nd. He was given a quiet time at Hawkesbury last week but looked to travel very well.

Melanin finishing a close 4th at Hawkesbury under minimal riding (OTI colours)

The most recent arrival of the four, Step Aside, was purchased after an impressive trial win at Cambridge. He has since pleased with a win in his first Australian trial on November 29 at Canterbury. Trainer Chris Waller has already planned a second trial for him this Thursday, which should round off his education ahead of a race debut later this month.

Step Aside winning his trial at Canterbury (OTI colours).

We look forward to seeing all four horses on the racetrack in the near future.