Te Aroha has become a happy stomping ground for talented jumper Trisha Lea and she will be out to keep her unbeaten hurdles record on the Waikato track intact on Sunday.
The daughter of Zed has just had the three hurdle starts, with both her wins coming at Te Aroha, while she was pulled up in the Great Northern Hurdle (4190m) last start after clipping heels.
“She is pretty well, she had a week in the paddock after the Northern and she has bounced back really well,” Little said.
“She clipped heels at the 600m in the Northern and nearly went down, thankfully Charlie (Studd, jockey) pulled her up and looked after her.
“I know it looked like she was probably gone at that point, but she looked like she was gone at Te Aroha too, so we don’t know what she could have done.”
Little is pleased with Trisha Lea ahead of Sunday and she is hoping the eight-year-old mare can continue her strong record on the track.
“I am happy with her. She has bounced back quite a bit, so hopefully she is not too arrogant going into the fences. On her last two starts there she should go well,” Little said.
Trisha Lea had also been nominated for the NZB Aifreight Road To The Jericho (3210m) at New Plymouth on Saturday, but Little said the decision was made to focus on her jumping future.
“We mulled over the two options and we decided that if she managed to win the Road to the Jericho you would go over to the Jericho (4600m, at Warrnambool on December 1) and that would probably ruin next year’s jumping plans and we would love to see her over the jumps a bit more.
“She will head out to the spelling paddock after Sunday and come back for next winter.”
Little will also line-up Zion Hill in the Geoff Brindley Memorial 1600 where she will jump from barrier one with Clinton Isdale aboard.
“She had a nice, quiet jump out this (Friday) morning here at Cambridge and she should go a nice race. She has got a good jockey on, so that always helps.”
Meanwhile, leading jumps jockeys Aaron Kuru and Shaun Phelan will be battling each other on Sunday to take out the Knottingly Farm 2019 jumps and highweight jockeys’ competition.
The competition is an annual event sponsored by Cambridge trainer David Wilson and carries a prize pool of $5,000, which is shared between the top three finishers.
Kuru and Phelan are tied in the lead with 124 points apiece, while Emily Farr sits on 90 points in third.
Kuru has just the one ride on Sunday, Tipical in the Make-A-Wish New Zealand 1600, while Phelan has seven chances to take out the competition.