Hughie Green looking good winning at Alexandra Park December 2015.

By Duane Ranger

Group 3 Summer Cup winner of last season Hughie Green will resume in the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park on September 30.

The big son of Art Major and Alta Serena will then line-up in The Holmes DG Pace on October 14 at the same venue.

“That’s all we have got planned for him right now. After the Holmes DG then we will see where he’s at and plan his racing schedule from there. He isn’t nominated for the New Zealand Cup. I think the Auckland Cup at the end of the year is the long-term target,” Gareth Hughes said.

Hughes and Jon Habraken are working the 11-strong Brian Hughes team at present, while the man nicknamed Bunty recovers from a hip replacement operation.

Hughes’ son Gareth said his father was pleased with the way Hughie Green won his second Workout at Pukekohe last Saturday.

“He had his first Workout the week before on the same track and finished fourth of four. He just went around to get him back in the groove that day. That was his first race since he spelled with a second behind No Doctor Needed in March.

“He suffered a virus earlier in the year and Saturday’s win showed us that he is developing nicely towards his season debut at the end of the month,” Hughes said.

Hughie Green looking good winning at Alexandra Park December 2015.
Hughie Green looking good winning at Alexandra Park December 2015.

The 5-year-old gelding and regular pilot Maurice McKendry stepped nicely in Saturday’s right-handed 2500m stand and were in front of their three opposition after 150 metres.

McKendry then dictated the pace to beat Start Dreaming, Ideal Belle, and Robbie Burns by a length, two lengths and a length. ‘Hughie’ stopped the clock in 3:12.4 (mile rate 2:03.8) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 57 and 27 flat.

“We are pleased with the way he has matured. Maurice never really asked much of him on Saturday. They got a soft lead and he won well. We just want to keep sharpening him up as we head towards his first run back on September 30.

“He will trial again at Alexandra Park this Saturday (September 17) to sharpen him up,” said Hughes.

Hughie Green, who is owned by John Green and was bred by his family, has won nine of his 20 starts and placed in four others for $162,199 in stakes.

He won two of his seven starts last season and his biggest win to date came in the $30,000 Group 3 Summer Cup at Alexandra Park last December when beating Besotted, Tiger Tara and Have Faith In Me with a 1:58.2 mile rate.

Thirteen months before that he was a hot favourite going into the Group 1 Sires Stakes 3YO Final, before galloping inward in the home straight.

“Those days are well and truly behind him. He’s a big mature horse now with a few more brains. We are quite confident that he will have a good season,” Hughes said.

Meanwhile, stablemate and multiple Group 1 winning mare – The Orange Agent – is still boxed and can walk gingerly in a small yard while she recovers from a leg injury.

(As seen on the Harness Racing New Zealand website).