The current New Zealand racing Horse of the Year could be racing in Hastings on Saturday as a result of a decision to transfer another meeting to the Hawke's Bay Racing Centre.
HBR general manager Andrew "Butch" Castles said last night multiple Group 1 winner Bonneval is possibly headed for the start of a new campaign in the Otaki Maori Racing Club's Haunui Farm Gr 1 WFA Classic, which has been transferred to Hastings because of inferior track conditions at Otaki.
It will mean three days of horse racing in Hawke's Bay within four days, the eight-race programme in Hastings on Saturday being sandwiched by the annual two-day races at Wairoa's Te Kupenga course on Thursday and Sunday.
Trained at Cambridge by champion pairing Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, four-year-old mare Bonneval has won seven of its 12 races for a total of $1.6 million in stake-earnings.
It has a special liking for the Hastings track, winning there on debut as a two-year-old filly in April 2016 and again as a three-year-old in the Lowland Stakes in March last year, before winning a Group 1 treble, in the 2400-metre New Zealand Oaks at Trentham later that month, the ATC Oaks at Randwick two weeks later, and the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield in October.
It last raced unsuccessfully as near-favourite in the Caulfield Cup, but is rated by its trainers as a prospective Melbourne Cup winner.
Meanwhile Castles is expecting eight races of 10 to 11 horses each for the first day in Wairoa, with big entries from the stables of Graeme and Debbie Rogerson at Tuhikaramea, near Hamilton, and Kevin Myers, from Whanganui.
The Rogersons had almost a third of the 99 runners at Gisborne when the three days in the Gisborne-Wairoa region started with the Poverty Bay Turf Club races on Sunday.