New Zealand star Xtravagant will race exclusively in Melbourne in the spring to avoid soft tracks in his homeland.
David Ellis, the boss of Te Akau which races the colt, said Xtravagant would travel to Australia in early August.
The winner of six of his 10 starts, two at Group One level, Xtravagant has already had one trip to Melbourne where he disappointed in the Australian Guineas as favourite.
He returned to New Zealand where he won the Group Three Breeders’ Stakes before being sent for a break.
“The plan is to take him to Melbourne in early August and he will then race there through the spring,” Ellis told NZ Racing Desk.
“We will probably trial him there on the better tracks and look to kick him off at Caulfield on the 27th, most likely in the Heath Stakes over 1100 metres.
“We will then be looking to run him in races like the Toorak Handicap and hopefully he will finish up in the Cox Plate.
“After a month of pre-training at Te Akau Stud he is back in the stable and he has settled in really well.”
In first markets, Xtravagant is a $31 chance in the Cox Plate in October with Winx the $2.80 favourite to defend her title.
Te Akau stable trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards are leading the New Zealand premiership and reached a milestone earlier this week with their 100th winner for the season.
Stable jockey Matt Cameron is on 142, trailing Lisa Alpress by eight.
“It’s very hard in New Zealand racing for a stable to get to 100 winners and for Stephen and Jamie to do it, and in Jamie’s first full season, is a remarkable effort,” Ellis said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au