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AUSTRALIAN TRAINERS INVADE NEW ZEALAND
SATURDAY 5TH FEB. 2011
An Aussie invasion will hit the New Zealand capital of Wellington on Saturday as Trentham racecourse plays host to the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m).
The NZ$1 million sprint has attracted three Australian speedsters across the Tasman – Swift Alliance, First Command and Monton.
Not only that, but six high-profile Australian jockeys have landed rides in the feature race of a strong 10-event card.
Australia's top female trainer Gai Waterhouse prepares race favorite and top-weight Swift Alliance, with stable jockey Nash Rawiller on board.
The five-year-old son of Don Eduardo turned up for his visit to the land of the long white cloud with a polished last- start victory under 60kg in the Listed Razor Sharp (1200m) at Randwick on December 18.
Waterhouse elected to pay a $30,665 late fee to get Swift Alliance, a dual Group 3 winner in Australia who has eight wins from 14 career starts, into the Telegraph.
"He had done all his work before he left Sydney, I'm extremely happy with his condition and he's done a treat since arriving in New Zealand," Waterhouse told the New Zealand Herald.
Lee Freedman has rolled the dice with consistent sprinter First Command, who boasts nine wins from 17 career starts.
Like Swift Alliance, First Command goes to New Zealand in form, having won the Doveton Stakes at Caulfield in his most recent appearance on January 8, but had no luck at the barrier draw, coming up with the outside alley.
Freedman has used a similar recipe in the past to get Group 1 glory with horses not quite at that level at home.
The best example was his imported South African mare Dane Julia, who after struggling to get going in Australia, went to New Zealand and won the Breeders Stakes (1600m) in April