Holymanz back from New Zealand excursion

New Zealand horses making hit-and-run visits to Australia are not uncommon, but there are not many horses that do it in reverse.

The Ciaron Maher-trained Holymanz (NZ) (Almanzor), a New Zealand-bred four-year-old, made a hit-and-run trip to Ellerslie last month for the inaugural running of the Aotearoa Classic (1600m).

Holymanz finished fourth and was soon after shipped back to the Cranbourne stables of his trainer to prepare for a tilt at the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Victory in the Blamey offers a ‘win and you’re in’ ticket into the All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield on March 16.

Jack Turnbull, an assistant-trainer with Ciaron Maher Racing, said Holymanz had returned in good order from his trip to New Zealand where not everything went to plan.

“He had a rough run in transit and he slipped a little bit, as a couple did that day, but to pick himself up and run on to finish fourth, we thought he ran a huge race,” Turnbull said.

“He’s travelled back in good order. He’s had a maintenance jump out since and he got back and wasn’t asked to do much.”

Turnbull said Michael Dee will be reunited with Holymanz on Saturday having ridden the gelding in his two previous starts before heading to Ellerslie, including a win at Geelong on January 6.

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