Ready to Soldier on

Sakhee's Soldier being challenged hotly on the outside by Rising Romance in the final stages of the Gr. 1 Ronald McDonald NZ Stakes. (Photo: Wally O'Hearn).

Sakhee’s Soldier being challenged hotly on the outside by Rising Romance in the final stages of the Gr. 1 Ronald McDonald NZ Stakes. (Photo: Wally O’Hearn).

Sakhee’s Soldier’s comeback drill is all about the five-year-old doubling his Group One tally.

The Cambridge galloper capped his meteoric rise last preparation when he defeated Rising Romance at the elite level in the Ronald McDonald House New Zealand Stakes in the autumn before he underwent surgery to remove bone chips from both knees.

Sakhee’s Soldier was unplaced when recently resuming in an open sprint at Ellerslie, where he struck an off track and carried 61.5kg.

“He’s come through it well and he’ll go to Tauranga on Saturday week next,” said co-trainer Andrew Forsman. “As an older horse he’s going to need a race or two and his grand final will be the Zabeel Classic. He’ll come back for the autumn after that and hopefully go to the Sydney carnival.”

Meanwhile, Murray Baker and Forsman will send a small team to Hastings on Sunday headed by one of last season’s leading fillies.

Saavoya was the Group Two winner of the Eight Carat Classic and the Royal Stakes and was spelled after finishing seventh in the Gr. 1 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks.

“She’s had a couple of trials and she’s looking well,” said Forsman. “She needs to run and then we may look at the Group Two fillies and mares’ race (Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes) over 1400 metres at Avondale for her.”

Saavoya will resume on Sunday in the Livamol Optimiser 1400 in the hands of Craig Grylls, who will also ride stablemates Jubilant (Bostock NZ Mile) and Show Far Show Good (Trinity Hill 1400). Jonathan Riddell will be on stablemate Inastride (Twilight Races @ Hastings 10/12).

– NZ Racing Desk.