Group One mission for Fortune Knight

Cambridge trainers Margaret and Tim Carter have opted to take the plunge with Fortune Knight at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The couple entered Fortune Knight for the $40,000 White Cliffs Timber Mile and the Gr. 1 $200,000 Lindauer NZ Stakes (wfa 2000m) and, though the 1600-metre event looks the softer option, they have decided to throw the last-start winner in the deep end against the likes of Silent Achiever, Nashville and Shuka in the feature.

“If it’s beyond him we can always step back, but it’s a chance to also get another line on him over 2000,” said Tim Carter. “He’s really well and he’s looking for 2000 metres so we’ve decided to have a go.

“If he measure up it will give us an idea what to aim at next season. Even though he’s officially five he’s younger because he was born in England so it’s still all ahead of him.”

Fortune Knight was a winner and raced up to Group Two level in England before heading to Hong Kong. He didn’t race in Hong Kong because of a tendon injury and came to New Zealand and joined the Carter team.

His first win for the Carters came at Ruakaka last August when beating Worthing over 1600 metres and after a series of placings, including a third in the Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day he won over 1800 metres in the Gr. 3 Hooker Pacific Taranaki Cup last start.

Before the New Plymouth win he had faced 2000 metres for the first time when charging home late for third behind Etoile Filante at Te Rapa.

Mark Sweeney has been Fortune Knight’s recent regular rider and will be aboard in tomorrow’s Group One.

Meanwhile the Carters are looking forward to getting another couple of ex-Hong Kong gallopers, Big City and Sky Idea, to the trials.

Big City won at Ruakaka in May 16 before heading to Hong Kong where he failed in five starts. “He has had a wind operation and is coming along well,” said Carter. “He’s nearly ready to trial.”

Sky Idea also started his career in New Zealand, with a couple of trials runs, and was unplaced in two Hong Kong starts. “He’s coming up well, too,” said Carter. “We’ve had a bit of luck with ex-Hong Kong horses and these two could shape up, too.”