Opie Bosson is the new jockey for Survived, who resumes racing in the $200,000 Group I Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings on Saturday.
Survived, trained at Hastings by John Bary, made his mark as a 3-year-old last season with wins in the Hawke's Bay Cup and Manawatu Classic. Jonathan Riddell rode Survived in three of his five wins and Masa Tanaka the other two. Riddell was passed over for the mount and he has taken the ride on Fritzy Boy, winner of the Challenge Stakes in 2008 when ridden by Noel Harris. Tanaka is now overseas.
Bosson was the leading jockey last season with 152 wins, the third time he had topped a premiership. His wins included the Auckland and Avondale Cups and International Stakes at Te Rapa on Sangster, who is in the Challenge Stakes with Michael McNab the rider. Sangster finished sixth when resuming in the Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on August 17.
Survived is a 4-year-old, an age group that has won six of the past nine Challenge Stakes (weight-for-age 1400m).
Ocean Park, subsequent winner of the W S Cox Plate, won the race last year as a 4-year-old.
Other 4-year-olds nominated on Saturday are the mares Rollout The Carpet and Soriano. Four-year-old mares to succeed in the past decade are Seachange (2006) and Keep The Peace (2010). Seachange also won the Challenge Stakes in 2007. She is the only dual winner since the race was accorded group three status in 1991.
Mufhasa, the winner of 2011, has been entered on Saturday. Mufhasa, now nine, has attempted the Challenge Stakes four times, finishing second to Tavistock in 2009 and fourth last year.
Bruce Wallace, the Takanini trainer of Mufhasa has left the option open to contest the $A350,000 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Mufhasa (King Mufhasa in Australia) has a tentative booking on a flight to Melbourne tomorrow.
''I will talk to David (Archer, the owner) after an assessment of the track at Hastings and make a decision,'' Wallace said. The Hastings track was rated heavy yesterday.
Leith Innes is on standby to ride Mufhasa in Melbourne. The Memsie (weight-for-age 1400m) has been upgraded to Group I. Mufhasa has won the 2012 Group I Futurity Stakes (1400m) and the 2011 Group I Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield.
It's A Dundeel and Silent Achiever are other NZ -trained horses entered for the Memsie.
It's A Dundeel, who has not raced since May, won the Australian Derby, Rosehill Guineas, Randwick Guineas and Spring Champion Stakes, all at Group I level, in Sydney last season.
Final Touch will attempt to emulate Fritz, the only South Island -trained winner of the Challenge Stakes. He was successful as a 7-year-old in 2001. Final Touch, third fresh up in the Foxbridge Plate, is a 6-year-old and no mare of that age has won the Challenge Stakes.
Zah Girl, trained at Riccarton by Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong, has been nominated for the Hawkes Bay meeting and Ashburton the previous day. She has been marking time since since an impressive fresh up win at Oamaru on July 21. Her trainers were aghast that she was re-rated eight points by the handicapper to 80 for her Oamaru win.
- © Fairfax NZ News