ALTHOUGH pleased with Locharburn’s progress, owner-trainer Kevin Chapman is making no concrete New Zealand Cup plans with the seven-year-old.
Locharburn finished fourth at the Rangiora workouts this week in what was a solid effort from the stallion.
“We’ll just take it one day at a time and see what happens,” Chapman said. “Everything’s fine at the moment, but when you’ve had problems in the past you just never quite know where you are going to be tomorrow.
“We’re just ticking along and flying under the radar. Hopefully, things will go better than they did last year.”
Locharburn has only raced 33 times for 14 wins and just under $400,000 in stakes, so if he stays healthy could be in for a big season.
“I just gave him a quiet run at the workouts on Wednesday,” said Chapman, noting the sedate overall 2:39.2 time over 2000 metres.
“He’s still pretty big and burly. They came home in 26.7 seconds and he felt good and pulled up good.
“We’ll just have a couple of quiet weeks now and head back to the trials to see where we are.
“He’s well within himself and is one of those horses who doesn’t take a lot of work, so he comes up quite easy.”
Chapman would love to have him cherry ripe on NZ Cup day in November to take on the likes of defending champion Lazarus and rising star Heaven Rocks.
“That’s the long-term plan, but how you get there is another question,” Chapman said. “I’ve made plenty of plans in the past and they’ve all come unstuck, so I’m not making any.
“If we have to start one start out from the Cup then that’s what we’ll do. If it means three starts then it’s three starts.’”
After missing the 2014-15 season with leg problems, Locharburn made a super comeback before again being hit by niggling problems in April, 2016.
But the rugged son of Christian Cullen was shaping as a serious NZ Cup contender when flying early last season, winning the Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington over Tiger Tara and Franco Nelson.
“When he won the Vase he was going good and then everything turned to. But that’s racing sometimes,” Chapman said.
Chapman decided to bypass the Cup and Locharburn ran a super second on cup day to Dream About Me in the $30,000 free-for-all.
Locharburn failed to finish in the top three in seven subsequent starts, going out for a spell in mid-April.
- HRNZ Media