Jason Bridgman will have his first runners this week after shifting his training base from New Zealand to the outskirts of Melbourne.
Bridgman has been in Victoria since late July and will have his first runners at Kyneton on Friday before New Zealand mare Pondarosa Miss provides him with a black-type runner in the Ballarat Cup on Saturday.
After splitting with leading New Zealand outfit Te Akau Racing, Bridgman decided to move to Australia rather than relocate in New Zealand.
He said he inspected stabling in Sydney before deciding on Melbourne.
“We were looking for a new challenge,” Bridgman said.
“It was a big move to come over and one we haven’t regretted.”
Bridgman is training on a property at Officer and goes to Pakenham for trackwork and once his numbers build he will also take stables on course to complement his operation.
He said the two complexes would work well with those stabled at Pakenham being easily transferred to Officer for a freshen up.
Pondarosa Miss will be having her first start for Bridgman having been left with him after trainer Peter Hollinshead returned home.
The High Chaparral mare came across from New Zealand to contest the Melbourne Cup, but didn’t get a start.
Bridgman said it was a blessing in disguise she missed the Cup as she didn’t travel over well.
Pondarosa Miss made her Australian debut beating one runner home in the Matriarch Stakes at Flemington on November 7.
“She was off her tucker for a fair bit and only started to pick up a few days before the Matriarch run,” Bridgman said.
“And nothing went right for her at Flemington.
“She’s normally a get back and a closer, but she jumped away well and from the wide barrier got caught deep and with no cover for the trip.
“She’s certainly turned the corner since that run and worked well this morning.
“She’s nicely weighted and it looks a nice race.”
James Winks has been booked for the ride with the mare to carry 54.5kg in the 2200m race.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au