Day At The Track

Kaplan keen on Queensland

07:42 PM 12 Mar 2015 NZDT
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Harvey Kaplan
Harvey Kaplan

Victorian based harness racing owner/breeder Harvey Kaplan is a shrewd operator.

His success in the sport is well documented and his passion is infectious, he’s bred some outstanding stars of the sport including Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling, Fly Like An Eagle, Arctic Fire and current star Bling It On.

And his desire to find the next ‘star’ continues to burn brightly.

The South African born and raised harness racing fanatic is constantly upgrading and improving his large broodmare band which is spread across both Australia and New Zealand while he’s always sourcing the best options for his racing team.

Kaplan is not afraid to place his horses in the best position to maximize their returns.

Enter Queensland.

In recent times, Kaplan has been impressed with upgrade to prizemoney and the QBRED breeding scheme in the sunshine state and now has horses consistently heading north.

“Queensland is on the up and their prizemoney structure is strong while their recent upgrade of the breeding schemes is very appealing. I’m happy to place my horses where they can best earn and I had no hesitation in sending horses to Brisbane, I’ll have at least five to six racing up there in the next couple of weeks.”

On Saturday night, Kaplan has the promising Epaulette engaged in the opening heat of the C2/C5 $50,000 Silks Restaurant Cup series.

Formerly prepared by Sydney trainer Belinda McCarthy, Epaulette will make his debut for Ian Gurney and draws ideally in gate two.

“I know one thing; we’ll be leading because he’s a brilliant gate speed horse so that’s a good start. This series is the main reason we’ve sent him north and I’m hoping we can continue to target these series in the coming months.

“We’ve deliberately taken our time with him because he was such a late foal, he’s a January foal and he’s always displayed very good ability so we’ve never rushed him. We think he’ll get through his grades quickly and this series is a great start point.

“This heat boasts some very talented types including Alleluia who has raced against the best of his age group but we knew that he would draw well so we expect to be hard to beat.”

Kaplan is also hoping for some luck with his recent New Zealand purchase Our Narissa Franco who lines up in the Listed $25,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final.

The half-sister to current star Franco Nelson has drawn ideally in gate one and looms as a legitimate chance following her heat performance on Tuesday.

“Her run on Tuesday was very good and her sectionals were impressive, landing the inside gate is a major bonus because she does possess very good gate speed,”

“Originally I sent this mare to Brittany Graham but was forced to change stable owing to her nasty characteristics, she’s actually quite mad but she’s fitting in with Jack Butler now. It would be a great thrill to win a race like this with her and take a good time,”

“I have just purchased Fon Design who will step out for Brittany next week so hopefully this is the start of a good week to come.”

Kaplan also hinted that ‘stablestar’ Bling It On could be a Queensland winter carnival player in the coming months.

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by Chris Barsby
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