Hale’s focus turns to Iffida

Iffida, who will be chasing black-type at Ellerslie tomorrow before heading to the spelling paddock.

Iffida, who will be chasing black-type at Ellerslie tomorrow before heading to the spelling paddock.

With a Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap trip off the table for stable star Seventh Up, the onus goes on Iffida to snare a stakes win for Cambridge trainer Shelley Hale tomorrow.

Hale has revealed that mucus in Seventh Up’s windpipe after his second placing to Galaxy Miss last Saturday at Te Rapa led to her abandoning Brisbane plans for the smart winter galloper.

“Grant Cooksley said again after the race that he’s far better right-handed than he is on left-handed tracks, but he still ran well,” said Hale.

“Galaxy Miss had a big pull in the weights (6kgs) and she looks like a smart mare so it was still a good effort.

“We scoped him earlier this week and he had a bit of muck in his trachea so he’s actually going out. You’ve got to be 120 per cent if you are going to take on that level of competition.”

Hale believes she has Iffraaj filly Iffida as close to her peak as she can get her ahead of tomorrow’s Ellerslie two-year-old feature, the Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes (1400m).

“She’s good. She’s eating well and working well. We’re happy,” said Hale.

“If we could sneak a stakes placing it’s going to look good on her CV. But win, lose or draw, it’s her last run for the season.”

Bred and part-owned by Ellerslie commentator George Simon and his wife Maryanne, Iffida has had three starts, culminating in a third placing at Matamata.

“She had a torrid run but she boxed on well,” said Hale, who is also among the part-owners. “I thought she had every excuse to give up, but she battled away bravely.

“She’s done well since and we’ll ride her a bit smarter on Saturday. It’s a good field, but if a few of them don’t handle the track or something she could take advantage. She’s seasoned and she’s pretty professional.

“We’ll give her a good spell after this then give her the opportunity next season and hopefully she can measure up in some of those good fillies’ races.”

Hale, who revealed Go Nicholas was enjoying a winter break, has also accepted with Close Up at Ellerslie with the Shinko King seven-year-old contesting the Equilume 1200.

“He’s so genuine,” she said of the last-start New Plymouth winner, whose success that day was his eighth from 23 starts. “He’s forward and well but he does have 60kg to carry.

“They say the weight scale is relative, but it’s still a lot to carry.”

– NZ Racing Desk.