Big assignments await Burgundy 3yo

9 Jan 2018

Gary Vile is confident his leading three-year-old Hard Merchandize will cope with a step up in distance.

The Awapuni trainer has his sights set on upcoming features at Trentham and Ellerslie with the Group-winning son of Burgundy.

“He’s got two major assignments left and I think he’ll handle a mile fine,” Vile said.

The gelding will make his next appearance in the Gr.1 Grant Plumbing Levin Classic (1600m) on Saturday followed by the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) a fortnight later.

Successful in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) last season, Hard Merchandize added the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) to his record in the spring.

He was then given a break after finishing fifth in the Gr.2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial (1400m) at Te Rapa.

Following a trial success, Hard Merchandize headed to Auckland where he ran fifth in the Gr.2 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) and then acquitted himself well last time out against the older horses on his home track.

In the Gr.2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m), Hard Merchandize made the running and stuck on determinedly to finish fifth and less than two lengths off the winner Splurge.

“I thought he fought on very, very well and he’s come through the race nicely,” Vile said. “He’s looking good.” – NZ Racing Desk