Stablemates shine at Te Teko trials

Battle Time in winning form at today's Te Teko trials. (Photo: Trish Dunell/NZ Racing Desk)

Battle Time in winning form at today’s Te Teko trials. (Photo: Trish Dunell/NZ Racing Desk)

Battle Time and his well-performed older half-brother Farm Boy made winning appearances at the Te Teko trials today.

The Cambridge pair were both ridden by Vinnie Colgan in their 1020-metre heats and did the job nicely, much to the delight of trainers Margaret and Tim Carter.

Battle Time, runner-up in the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes last March, won his three-year-old trial by a head from Scrutinize, while Farm Boy took the second of two open 1020-metre heats by a long neck from Tomorrowland with the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Gesemi third.

“It was the first hit-out for both of them and Farm Boy is currently 15th in order of entry for the Makfi so we’ll head there at the end of the month,” said Margaret Carter.

The El Hermano gelding realised his staying potential last preparation with a victory in the Gr. 2 Avondale Gold Cup. He then acquitted himself well at weight-for-age with a third placing in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Stakes.

“He spelled well and has grown a bit more,” said Carter. “All going well, the Livamol Classic at Hastings will be his aim.”

The Carters’ first priority with Battle Time this season is to find the easiest option for the highly-rated colt’s three-year-old debut. They are focussing on a maiden success before they step him back up to the big time.

“First things first. We want to get a soft race to get him out of maidens,” said Carter. “It might sound easy, but often that’s quite difficult.”

However, on the evidence of Battle Time’s two-year-old performances winning form isn’t far away for the son of Battle Paint.

Placed at his first two starts, he then finished fourth in the Gr. 3 Eclipse Stakes before he beat all but Dal Cielo in the Diamond Stakes and was turned out after running seventh in the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

“He’s always been mentally strong and he’s grown now and looks like a colt – he’s bulked up a lot,” said Carter.

“Tim has earmarked the Hawke’s Bay Guineas for him and further down the line we’d like to take him to Christchurch for the 2000 Guineas.”