The first-up performance of gavelhouse.com graduate Mr Brightside (NZ) (Bullbars) has convinced Lindsay Park the gelding has gone to another level in his second campaign for the stable.
The Ben and JD Hayes-trained galloper is preparing for a shot at the $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on March 19 and will have his final hit-out for that race in the Gr.2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Victory in the Blamey affords the winner an exemption into the All-Star Mile, although Mr Brightside is already in the field having been one of the ‘fan-votes’ that was announced earlier in the month.
Mr Brightside progressed in his first campaign for Lindsay Park after arriving from New Zealand from a maiden win at Geelong in July to finish fourth in the Gr.1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Along the way Mr Brightside scored at Sandown, The Valley and Flemington while also picking up the Seymour Cup in a string of six straight victories.
After a brief summer break, Mr Brightside resumed with a closing third to Corner Pocket (Toronado) in the Listed Elms Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on February 19.
“I think that showed us he’s come back an improved horse,” JD Hayes said.
“His sectionals were quite outstanding, and it was a beautiful effort.
“He pulled up an absolute treat and so long as he keeps ticking all the boxes, he’ll head towards the Blamey after his great first-up effort.”
Hayes said the stable had kept Mr Brightside to the same routine as the one that proved successful last year that enabled the gelding to continually race at a consistent level.
“We brought him back to the farm after his last run,” Hayes said.
“He’s got a day paddock that he gets out into every day, and he’s got a good routine. “We’ve kept him in that routine, kept him ticking over and he’s a happy horse.” – NZ Racing News, photo Darryl Sherer.
Entries for the next gavelhouse.com thoroughbred auction are due at 10pm Monday 28 February, the catalogue will launch at 5pm on Tuesday 1 March and bidding closes from 7pm on Monday 7 March.