Battle Time on track for Makfi

Battle Time ready for a tilt at the Makfi Challenge Stakes. (Photo: Trish Dunell/NZ Racing Desk)

Battle Time ready for a tilt at the Makfi Challenge Stakes. (Photo: Trish Dunell/NZ Racing Desk)

Battle Time showed he is on target for the Gr. 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings late this month when chasing home the in-form Southern Icon in a Te Teko trial today.

Southern Icon took up his customary role in front and led throughout while Battle Time pleased co-trainer Margaret Carter with his effort for second.

“He needed the gallop and it will bring him on,” she said. “It’s been difficult with the weather to get the work into them at home. He’s nominated for the Makfi and whether he has a race before that we’re unsure.”

Battle Time will again clash with Matamata-trained Southern Icon in the Makfi Challenge Stakes after that horse competes in the Gr. 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa on Saturday week.

Battle Time was runner-up in the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes as a two-year-old and last season chased Xtravagant home when runner-up in the Gr. 1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas.

Battle Time’s stablemate, Group Two winner Farm Boy, also pleased with his effort for second behind the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Saracino in an open 1000-metre heat.

“I was stoked with his run – I didn’t expect him to go that well,” said Carter. “It was a tidy effort, he ran home beautifully.”

Like Battle Time, Farm Boy, a last-start third placegetter behind Sacred Master in the Gr. 2 Avondale Cup last February, has entries for all three legs of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown series – the Makfi Challenge Stakes, the Windsor Park Plate (September 17) and the Livamol Classic (October 1).

Farm Boy won the Avondale Cup last year and followed up with a third in the Gr. 1 Ronald McDonald House Charities NZ Stakes before contesting the Makfi Challenge Stakes and Livamol Classic last spring, finishing fourth to Addictive Habit in the latter 2040-metre feature.