VICTORIA Derby winner Maxim is off to Australia for a three-race campaign next week.
Loathe to turn the brilliant, but injury-plagued pacer out, Waiau Pa trainer Brent Mangos has kept him up to the mark with a view to having the seven-year-old as fit as possible heading into lucrative spring racing.
“I backed off him a bit since his last start (May 12) but if he’s going to be ready for spring, he needs racing,” Mangos said. “I don’t want to race him at Auckland off those hard handicaps – it’s not ideal.”
So Mangos has mapped out a three-race Victorian campaign this month, hopefully culminating in the $A60,000 Breeders Crown Graduate Pacers Free-For-All at Melton on August 25.
Incredibly, despite winning over $437,000 in his career, Maxim is graded an M0 in Australia and that makes Mangos’ decision easy regarding his first race.
“He’ll go over next Wednesday and then have his first start on the 12th in an M0,” Mangos explained “All his two and three-year-old wins don’t count over there, and since that’s the only time he raced prior to this past season, he’s actually on a nice assessment.
“After that he will race on the 18th and then in the Breeders’ Crown race on the 25th, if he’s going well enough.
“Otherwise there is another $25,000 race on the same night for M0-M2 pacers.”
The $800,000 New Zealand Cup in early November is on the radar, but Mangos knows not to get ahead of himself given Maxim has injured his front suspensory ligaments twice.
So bad were his injuries, he was virtually three years away from the track between March, 2014, and January this year.
“We’re going to nominate for the Cup, but we’ll get this August stuff out of the way first and then just go from there,” Mangos said. “Just as long as he comes through this trip and these three races okay, I’ll be happy.”