Old takes two shots at inaugural Karapiro Classic

Old takes two shots at inaugural Karapiro Classic9 Feb 2024

The brand-new $350,000 Sir Patrick Hogan Karapiro Classic (1600m) has received an enthusiastic endorsement from Matamata trainer Glenn Old, who will saddle a pair of promising four-year-olds in the inaugural running of the race at Te Rapa on Saturday.

One of a series of innovation races added to the New Zealand calendar this season, the Karapiro Classic is restricted to horses that were maidens on July 31 last year. Old’s emerging star Adam I Am and lightly raced stablemate Choose ‘Em Big both tick that box.

“It’s amazing money and a great race to target with horses that are coming through the grades,” Old said.

At the time of that July 31 deadline, Adam I Am had been a placegetter in his only start – finishing third behind the subsequent Group One performer Luella Cristina at Tauranga in January.

Adam I Am has had four further starts this season for three smart wins and a placing. The Almanzor gelding was a last-start winner of the Thames Cup (1600m) at Te Aroha on January 3.

“I’m really looking forward to Saturday with him,” Old said. “He’s bouncing out of his skin and ready to go.

“He got the job done pretty well last start, but sort of only did what he had to. He loafed a little bit once he got to the front. He still needs to learn to really knuckle down.

“But I’m really happy with the progress he’s making. We gave him a week off after that race and he’s been going super ever since. He’s naturally fit, just like his mother (Group Two winner Our Famous Eve), so he doesn’t take much. He’s a very easy horse to train. It’s just a matter of keeping him eating and keeping him happy.

“Michael McNab has come over to ride him in a couple of gallops before taking the mount on Saturday, and he says he feels like a lovely horse.”

Stablemate Choose ‘Em Big made his debut in November, finishing fourth at Pukekohe behind the subsequent Group Two winner About Time. He won next time out at Te Aroha, then was badly blocked when unplaced at Te Rapa. The son of Preferment’s only subsequent start was a second at Te Aroha on January 3.

“He’s a really nice horse too,” Old said. “He’s had some bad luck in a couple of his runs.

“Unfortunately it’s not a good barrier draw (13) for his style of racing. He’s not a sit-sprint horse – he’s a massive horse, a bit like Adam. So we might have to roll up and hope we get a bit of luck. He’s definitely good enough to run in the top four, and in time I think he’ll make a very nice 2000m horse.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk