Turn Me Loose given the thumbs up

Turn Me Loose (Kerrin McEvoy) holding on determinedly to win the Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk/Sportspix).

Turn Me Loose (Kerrin McEvoy) holding on determinedly to win the Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk/Sportspix).

Group One Emirates Mile hero Turn Me Loose is making steady progress towards a tilt at a host of upcoming major targets in a proposed Australian summer/autumn campaign.

The powerful four-year-old returned to the stable of his Cambridge based trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman early last month and has pleased his connections as he builds towards his new assignment.

Syndicate representative Lyndsay de Souza has been in New Zealand on a whistle-stop tour for the past few days and took the opportunity to check up on entire’s progress before heading back home to Australia.

“He thrived during the break he had after the Melbourne Spring carnival and has done everything right to date” said de Souza. “He has only been back in the stable for just on three weeks but Murray is thrilled with his condition as we build him up for his next trip to Australia.”

De Souza is excited about the prospects for the son of Iffraaj who is headed to Victoria first before a possible tilt at some Sydney riches.

“He looks likely to head across to Melbourne in early February and have a couple of runs there,” he said. “We are looking at maybe kicking off in the CF Orr Stakes on February 13.

“If he goes well in Melbourne then naturally we are keen to head up to Sydney with him. There are some very good races like the George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Handicap that appeal as long he is going well.

“He did so well during the spring you would like to think with further maturity he can be just as competitive again this time. He will no doubt have to tackle horses like Winx and the like along the way but that is what Group One racing is all about, taking on the very best.”

De Souza did manage to squeeze in a visit to Ellerslie to witness promising three-year-old Get That Jive finish a meritorious second in the Gr. 2 Great Northern Guineas on New Year’s Day, although he missed the win of exciting two-year-old Gasoline a week earlier.

“We were coming across to watch Gasoline in the stakes race on New Year’s Day, but the plans changed and he started on Boxing Day instead which we couldn’t quite make,” he said.

“It’s very exciting to see a two-year-old show that much early on, especially as he is one we also bred. He looks as though he might be a classic contender later on this season which would be a huge result for us.

“Get That Jive also went a super race and looks to be building nicely towards the New Zealand Derby, which is his major target at this stage. He ran on nicely and looks a real stayer in the making.”

De Souza will return for Karaka Million night at Ellerslie on January 24 and the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale Series, which starts the day later.

Main interest will be in the half-sister to Turn Me Loose by Cambridge Stud stallion Power who will be sold from the powerful Cambridge Stud draft on the second day of the Premier sale session.

NZ Racing Desk