Latest News

Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Astute trainer Mike Reed is looking forward keenly to the return to racing of high-priced New Zealand imports Ragazzo Mach and Blitzembye at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The sky appears to be the limit for the richly talented and lightly-raced pair who have the ability to develop into leading contenders for the $125 Four-Year-Old Classic on December 2 and the $200,000 Golden Nugget a fortnight later.

“It’s good to have them back, and I’m happy with the way they’re going,” said Reed. “They have been working together and there’s not a lot between them.”

Both pacers will be handled by leading reinsman Shannon Suvaljko, who landed a double with the Reed-trained three-year-olds Dardy Boy and Hoppys Way in qualifying heats of the Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night.

Ragazzo Mach, a winner at ten of his 19 starts, will line up at barrier six in the 2130m Go Ramsay’s Horse Transport Pace on Friday night. Blitzembye, a winner at ten of his 20 starts, will start from the No. 5 barrier in the 2130m Insure With PSC Bloodstock Services Pace.

Quizzed about his opinion of the two brilliant four-year-olds and which one had the best chances of winning, Reed said: I think, Ragazzo Mach. “He ran second to Ezana in a Byford trial two Sundays ago. Ezana led, and Ragazzo Mach came from behind (in the four-horse trial). It was blowing a gale and they ran home in 56.5sec.

“From barrier six on Friday night, I’ll leave the tactics up to Shannon. If the speed is on, he can sit (and run home). If not, he can make an early move. At his latest start (on February 4) he sat on the outside of the leader and won.”

Most punters are likely to consider Friday night’s event as a match race between Ragazzo Mach and trainer Michael Young’s smart five-year-old Beat City, who has resumed after a spell in fine style with a first-up half-head second to Power And Grace, followed by an impressive victory over Fanci A Dance and Classic Choice last Friday night when he dashed to the lead after 600m and sprinted the final 800m in 56.2sec. to score at a 1.56.3 rate over 2130m.

“I expect Beat City (to be driven by Gary Hall jnr) to lead and win,” said Young. “Ragazzo Mach is a good horse, but he is first-up and will have to do a bit of work at some stage. I think we can control the race and beat him.”

Reed said that Blitzembye had performed soundly at two recent Byford trials, but was likely to be tested first-up, particularly by the Greg and Skye Bond-trained five-year-old Ideal Agent, who notched his eighth win from his past twelve starts when he scored another brilliant win last Friday night.