Change of plans for Touch Win

Cambridge trainer Roger James has revised plans for his promising three-year-old Touch Win following his second-up run at Hastings last Saturday.

Touch Win created a huge impression when winning on debut at Gisborne and James has made no secret of the high regard he has for the son of Excellent Art nominating him for both the Group I NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton and the Group I Levin Classic at Otaki.

James put the youngster to a big test in last weekend’s Group II DHL Global Hawke’s Bay Guineas and the horse performed very creditably to finish fifth, just under two lengths from impressive Cambridge winner Sacred Falls.

The effort also showed Touch Win needed more experience to be a truly competitive racehorse at higher level, his greenness being evident at various stages in the event.

“He’s got a lot to learn, but he’s got so much ability,” said James. “I’ve now decided not to go for the 2000 Guineas. It would be putting too much pressure on him.”

Rather than attempt another 1400-metre event, which would have been the case with the 2000 Guineas next month in mind, Touch Win will be dropped back to 1200 metres in a Rating 65 three-year-old event at Ellerslie.

“He can then go to Tauranga and, all going well, on to the Levin Classic,” said James.

James is very pleased with stable star Silent Achiever following her fresh-up fourth at Te Rapa and will discuss options for the mare with owner Kevin Hickman over the next few days.

“She’s come through the race very well,” said James. “I thought it was a good run fresh-up.”

James is also happy with He’s Remarkable, who fought gallantly for third behind Shez Sinsational in last Saturday’s Group I NZ Bloodstock Insurance Spring Classic.

“He came to the end of it, but didn’t give in,” said James. “It was a top run, but I’m not convinced he gets 2000 metres. I think he’s better over the shorter trips.”