Veyron benefits from trial

Veyron, last season’s Cambridge Horse Of The Year, is on target to take on arch rival Mufhasa at Tauranga on Saturday.

That was the message handed out at the Cambridge trials today when the multiple Group One winner won his 950-metre heat narrowly (by a head), but with plenty in reserve.

Veyron hadn’t raced since finishing third freshup in the Listed Lion Red Plate at Rotorua a month ago and Laing felt he needed a hitout to be on the mark for Saturday’s Stella Artois Tauranga Stakes (1600m).

“It’s something I wouldn’t normally do, but he is so fresh,” said Laing. “He needed the trial and I’m glad I ran him. Rogan (Norvall) just sat on him, but he had a really good blow.”

Laing plans to take it one race at a time with Veyron, who picked up three Group One wins last season. The first of those Group Ones was the Waikato Draught Sprint at Te Rapa when beating Mufhasa, who once again picked up the NZ Horse Of The Year title.

Veyron defended his Group I Easter Handicap crown in his last run for the past season and he went a top race fresh-up at Rotorua, beaten a length after copping a battering inside the final stages.

He was hit in the eye by the whip of the runner-up Demophon’s jockey, Chris Dell. “It cost him second money and it took a while for the swelling to go down,” said Laing. “He’s fine again now, but it was a worry.”