New Zealand Cup runner-up Fly Like An Eagle is back in New Zealand and now in the care of Tony Herlihy after a failed Australian campaign with Paul Fitzpatrick.
“He arrived yesterday morning and has settled in well,” said Herlihy, who drove the son of Mach Three to win the 2012 New Zealand Derby. “He is a lovely cut of a horse, and is a real gentle giant,” he added.
“Mark (Purdon, former trainer) has always had a very high opinion of the horse, so I am excited to have him in my stable,” Herlihy enthused.
Herlihy said that Fly Like An Eagle will now have a quiet week to ten days.
“I will just see how he progresses and have a talk to the owners but at this stage the Hunter Cup is our main target.”
Meanwhile, Herlihy yesterday unleashed smart two-year-old Express Stride, who was an impressive winner at the Alexandra Park trials.
“He has got everything going for him and he has continued to improve throughout the month,” offered Herlihy. “I think he has got all the attributes to be a very nice horse,” he added.
Herlihy has the Young Guns on the radar with the son of Bettor’s Delight and top filly Lauraella, but is unsure if he will be ready to contest the heat on New Years Eve.
“I’m not sure if he will be quite ready by then but I will make a call closer to the time.”
Express Stride is just one of the two-year-olds floating around the trials in New Zealand at the moment that is owned by mammoth Australian owners Emilio and Maria Rosati.
“The Rosati’s have been buying up large at our New Zealand Yearling Sales for a few years now, but this year due to the $2,000 Import Tax they decided to leave some of them here,” said Herlihy.
“The money didn’t worry them as they are all high priced yearlings, but it is the principal of the matter that they weren’t happy with.”
“I think they also have a couple with Cran Dalgety and I have also got Downunder Stride (Bettor’s Delight – Alta Vista).
“He is a nice horse as well but he is currently spelling at the moment after being gelded.” Herlihy concluded.
Other two-year-olds the Rosati’s have qualified in New Zealand include Betterman Stride (Bettor’s Delight – Child In Time) and Cossack Stride (Bettor’s Delight – Achieve A Dream), both of whom are trained by Dave Anderson.
By Mitchell Robertson