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Kiwis Take Aim At 2009 Melbourne Cup

New Zealand trainer John Sargent will launch Cup campaigns for comeback galloper Red Ruler and proven two-miler Young Centaur at Caulfield on Saturday.

Also on next Saturday May 15th will be run the second stage of the Triple Crown, the 2010 Preakness Stakes, and the horse racing odds for this competition are on Super Saver’s side.

Red Ruler has recovered from a hip injury sustained in the autumn and has been at Caulfield for the last five weeks with his stablemate to avoid the wet New Zealand tracks in preparation for the spring.

He will resume in the Group Two Liston Stakes (1400m) while Young Centaur has the 1600-metre Barely A Moment Handicap as his first-up target.

Dan Nikolic has been booked to ride the stablemates.

Sargent said both gallopers would improve with racing but he expected them to be strong at the finish of their respective assignments.

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Red Ruler finished sixth in last year’s 2008 Caulfield Cup but hasn’t raced since fracturing his hip when unplaced in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in March.

“He pulled up very lame,” Sargent said.

“He was boxed for six weeks and had another six weeks in a small yard but he’s 100 per cent now.

“He looks enormous and is a lot stronger.”

Red Ruler has been winless since February last year but was unlucky not to land a Group One race with seconds in the AJC Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick and the Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m) at Hastings.

Sargent said the Caulfield Cup was again the target for Red Ruler after lead-up runs in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield and the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

“This could be his year if everything goes right,” Sargent said.

Young Centaur is a talented handicapper and won the 2008 Wellington Cup when it was run over 3200 metres.

Last campaign he finished second in the New Zealand Cup (3200m) before running third over 2400 metres in both the City Of Auckland and Wellington Cups.

Sargent said Young Centaur would plot a path through the country Cups at Cranbourne and Geelong on the way to the Melbourne Cup 2009.

“We know he can run two miles (3200m),” Sargent said.

“He will need the run on Saturday but hopefully will be running home well.”

Article by Robert Windmill Aapracing

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