Battle Time for Sarten Memorial

Sam Spratt taking Battle Time down to the start of the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes. (Photo: Wally O'Hearn).

Sam Spratt taking Battle Time down to the start of the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes. (Photo: Wally O’Hearn).

A softer option has been ruled out for the country’s best-performed non-winner with Battle Time to continue plying his trade against the top three-year-olds.

The Cambridge representative will make his next appearance in the Gr. 3 James & Annie Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa on Labour Day Monday.

“We did think about running him in a maiden, but this race is worth $70,000 and he’s already proved he’s up to them,” said Tim Carter. “He’s really well and hopefully he can get some more expenses before we go south for the 2000 Guineas.”

Placed in the Gr. 1 Diamond Stakes, the Gr. 3 Eclipse Stakes and the Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper last season, Battle Time finished runner-up to Serious Satire when resuming at Hastings and he was a last-start third behind Amarula and Scrutinize in the Gr. 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

He has been ridden in both starts this preparation by Vinnie Colgan, who is keen for the gelding to go to the Sarten.

“It was Vinnie that convinced us – he said he’s going well and he’s up to the class,” said Carter. “Vinnie thought the horse was just short of a run last time at Hawke’s Bay and the two that beat him had both raced at Ruakaka and were more match fit.”

Meanwhile, Battle Time’s stablemate and older half-brother Farm Boy will trial at Cambridge on Thursday.

“He’ll have a run over 1200 metres and he’ll go to Auckland for the Group Three race on Melbourne Cup day,” said Carter, referring to the Sofitel Luxury Hotels Stakes.

“That will set him up for races like the Counties Cup and the Waikato Cup and then the Zabeel Classic.”

Farm Boy has already proved himself at Group One level under weight-for-age conditions with his third placing in last season’s New Zealand Stakes off the back of his Gr. 2 Avondale Gold Cup victory.

– NZ Racing Desk.