Carters eyeing Hawke’s Bay Group Ones

Battle Time (Vinnie Colgan) returning to his best form at Ellerslie yesterday.

Battle Time (Vinnie Colgan) returning to his best form at Ellerslie yesterday.

Tim and Margaret Carter’s longer-term focus for their versatile four-year-old Battle Time already centres on the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

The Cambridge husband and wife training partnership is keen to improve the entire’s Group One record, but before that they have decisions to make for the son of Battle Paint off the back of his win in yesterday’s Edwards Sound Chairman’s Trophy at Ellerslie.

“We’ve had in the back of our minds to put him in the paddock, but he’s a very good doer and it’s hard to keep the weight off him,” said Margaret Carter. “He might be better off in the stable.”

Group One-placed in the Diamond Stakes as a juvenile and in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas at three, Battle Time also claimed major honours earlier this season in the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile.

His form subsequently dropped away, but a third placing at Te Rapa earlier this month was a strong pointer for Ellerslie.

“He travelled quite well and on his last run I thought he would be hard to beat today with 55 kilos,” said rider Vinnie Colgan after yesterday’s win.

Battle Time stalked the leader before taking control into the straight and he maintained a strong gallop to account for the Peter and Dawn Williams-trained pair of Brilliant Shine and Fire Jet.

The topweight Close Up, who was bidding for a hat-trick of wins this preparation, was unable to round off his effort in the testing ground and finished a length and a quarter back in fourth spot.

– NZ Racing Desk.