Te Akau’s Australian-based team of Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) and Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) have returned to work in Sydney under the care of Te Akau Racing’s Ashey Handley, and trainer Jamie Richards said their early progress would determine their spring paths.
“They’ll be nominated for the Cox Plate (Gr.1, 2040m) and we’ll see how they come up,” Richards told RSN.
“They’ll probably trial in Sydney and then we’ll make a bit of a plan for when they head down to Melbourne.
“Whether they have a run in Sydney first or whether we think they’re better to go and get settled in and race exclusively in Melbourne, we’re not entirely sure yet.
“We’re working through those options at the moment.”
Richards said he was hoping to have 12 boxes in operation at Flemington for the spring, with Richards’ Melbourne team set to be joined by a number of Cambridge Stud-owned fillies.
“That all depends on the trans-Tasman bubble and hopefully COVID-19 settling down a little bit and if we don’t get any second rounds or anything,” Richards said.
“We hope to have them trial up towards the end of July and have them over there in August, but that is all still up in the air at this stage.
“We have to be guided by the authorities.”