Biologist camp go for proven recipe

The connections of Biologist have wound the clock back 12 months in settling for the rider for the five-year-old in the Gr. 3 Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie tomorrow.

Cambridge trainer Gary Alton, who shares in the ownership with his partner, Catherine Cameron, and local farrier Kim Hughes, confirmed they have opted for familiarity when settling on Michael McNab to ride the son of Danehill Dancer in the $70,000 weight-for-age 1600-metre event.

“Michael rode him in his first two wins and he knows him well,” said Hennessy. “He assures me he will make the 55.5 kilos.”

McNab actually rode Biologist into fourth on debut at Te Aroha in September last year and when reunited with the horse the pair won a maiden 1600 metres at Te Rapa the following month then a Rating 65 over the same trip at Ellerslie a week later.

Biologist has gone on to win a total of six races with Michael Coleman being aboard twice and apprentices Ulrika Holmquist and Chris Dell taking the reins in a double he scored earlier this season. With Coleman under suspension, the ride became available for McNab this weekend.

While Biologist was recording each of those last four wins McNab was absent from the riding ranks. He took a break from the raceday saddle after finishing fourth on Bachelor Brave at Ellerslie on March 29 and resumed at Te Awamutu yesterday.

Biologist was runner-up to Breaking Dawn at Te Rapa two starts ago, but goes into the Ellerslie event tomorrow with a last-start failure in the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile. He finished last of the six runners after making the early pace then trailing.

“We’ve just got to put the Canterbury run behind us,” said Alton. “We know he’s better than that and he looks well. Eventually I’d like to get him over ground. He’s got a good cruising speed.”

Alton’s interest will be split tomorrow with his attention at Wanganui centring on Flying Orca in the Listed $50,000 Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge Wanganui Cup and Worthing in the Wanganui Steelformers 1600. Robbie Hannam will ride Flying Orca and Jonathan Riddell will be on Worthing.

Flying Orca comes into the Wanganui Cup on the 53kg minimum and boasts three wins. Her most recent effort was a fourth to Classcoroc in the Northland Cup at Dargaville.