Hiflyer all class in fresh-up victory

17 Jun 2018

Tavistock's class galloper Hiflyer lived up to the pre-race hype when he lumped 61.5kgs to victory at Ruakaka in Saturday's open sprint, the Clansman Hotel Bream Bay Bowl (1200m).

The multiple Group Three winner, who races in the colours of breeder and part-owners Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan, was having his first run since finishing third in the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham back in January.

Proven in stakes company the five-year-old Tavistock gelding was expected to perform with distinction although trainer Peter Lock admitted he would have been happy enough to see him finish amongst the placegetters as long as he was hitting the line strongly.

“I’m never short of a word but I don’t know what to say,” said an emotional Lock after the race.

“He’s a dream come true.

“He was really only half ready and to give those quality horses that much weight, I’m just lost for words.

“I would have been quite happy if he ran third or fourth as long as he was hitting the line. Halfway down you could see him trying to get off the fence and looking for ground.

“There’s not many horses around like this, he’s just unbelievable.”

Handled expertly by regular pilot Johnathan Parkes, Hiflyer enjoyed a cosy run in midfield throughout the contest before angling into the clear halfway down the straight. Despite being tight for room between eventual placegetters Fire Jet and Rikki Tikki Tavi, Hiflyer proved too strong in the closing stages to run out a comfortable victor by just over a neck at the winning post in a slick 1.09.44 on the Dead5 surface.

“I was stoked with the way he went,” said a relieved Parkes who at one stage thought he might miss the ride due to some transport issues.

“It’s been a very good effort to carry 61.5kgs fresh up over a trip that is probably a little short for him.

“The pace was fairly good so it was just a matter of getting into the gap. He always felt he could do that and control the finish which is what he did.”

Lock admitted he was stumped at present in where to aim the horse in the short-term due to his penchant for dry tracks.

“The worse thing about it is that we are coming into the winter, so we may have done things around the wrong way,” he said.

“If we can get him to Sydney and have a little look around and then bring him home for a nice freshen up before the first day at the Hastings Spring carnival then you might just see how good he is.”

The win took Hiflyer’s race record to nine wins and 8 placings from just 21 starts with just under $280,000 in career earnings. – NZ Racing Desk