The forgotten Kiwi raider on the rich Sydney autumn carnival is about to get some high-powered help in her bid to win the Sydney Cup.
Concert Hall has had a crazy 2021, including missing a key race in February after she got away at the barriers and went on a tour of the suburbs of New Plymouth, including galloping through a playground.
Apart from being an equine tourist, she has recorded two sixths in races she went into on the back hoof, the latest behind Melody Belle in Ellerslie's Bonecrusher Stakes on March 13.
In contrast, last year, she came from last to win the Group 1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie, confirming she is a serious weight-for-age galloper.
After her ups and downs, Concert Hall has fallen off the bookies' radar in Australia and is rated a 50-1 chance in the A$2 million Sydney Cup on Saturday week, but her chances in that race have been boosted significantly over the long weekend.
She worked brilliantly under regular jockey Vinnie Colgan on Sunday and most importantly got on the plane to Sydney on Monday - important because it's hard to win the Sydney Cup if you aren't there.
And when she does land there, she will have champion big-race jockey Glen Boss waiting to ride her, confirmed as her Sydney Cup jockey.
Boss has already won the Cox Plate and Tancred Stakes on Sir Dragonet, who is topweight for the Sydney Cup, but he is running in the A$4m Queen Elizabeth that day instead, so is free to ride the Cambridge mare.
"We are thrilled to get Glen and he will ride her in the Chairmans Handicap this Saturday and then the Cup," says co-trainer Roger James.
James and training partner Robert Wellwood are basically forced to run Concert Hall in the Chairmans even though that wouldn't usually be their desired path into a Sydney Cup.
"Because she has only had her two starts back this campaign, she will need the run for her fitness," says James. "So even if the track is wetter than we might like, she will start this Saturday and hopefully be better for the Cup next week."
As erratic as Concert Hall's year has been, James says her work on Sunday was perfect. "I always write notes about how the horses work and I just put one word next to her name: Superb. Vinnie was thrilled with her, so while it has been a tricky campaign, she deserves her crack at the Cup."
Concert Hall has failed in her only two 2400m starts but she did bolt away with the 2300m Manawatu Cup in late 2019 and has looked vastly improved and stronger this season.
While it is impossible to tell whether horses will truly run 3200m until they try, Concert Hall's dam Classic Legacy was a genuine stayer who won a 3000m hurdle race.
Concert Hall will join fellow Cambridge galloper The Chosen One in the Sydney Cup, with the latter's stablemate The Frontman taking his place as one of three Kiwis in this Saturday's A$2 million ATC Derby.
The Frontman will be joined by Rocket Spade and Milford, who trainer Stephen Marsh expects to be better suited than at Rosehill, where he failed in the Guineas last start.
That means the three trifectamates from the Vodafone Derby at Ellerslie a month ago will all contest the Sydney equivalent.