Julius (NZ) Shoots for Second Leg of Sprint Triple Crown

Julius (NZ) (Swice Ace) aims for the second leg of the NZB Insurance Sprint Triple Crown.
Julius (NZ) (Swice Ace) aims for the second leg of the NZB Insurance Sprint Triple Crown.

Saturday’s $250,000 Group One JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham will give Julius (NZ) (Swiss Ace) the chance to move one step closer to a lucrative $100,000 NZB Insurance Sprint Triple Crown Bonus.

The Sprint Triple Crown is one of three NZB Insurance Triple Crown Series introduced to New Zealand racing this season, comprising the $200,000 Group One Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, this weekend’s Telegraph and the $200,000 Group One BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 8.

The other two Series are the Weight-For-Age Triple Crown and Fillies and Mares’ Triple Crown, and each of the three Series carries a $100,000 bonus for any horse who can win all three races.

A year after suffering a tendon injury that could have been career-ending, Julius captured the first leg of the Sprint Triple Crown Series with a brilliant victory in the Sistema Railway at Ellerslie earlier this month.

Now he heads to Trentham, where he will again lock horns with the rivals who made him work so hard for his Railway triumph.

Australian raider Winter Bride (Not a Single Doubt) was a gallant second in the Railway after being trapped wide from her outside gate. It was a similar story with the third-placed Evalina (I Am Invincible), who is also back for a rematch, and so is the fourth-placed Dawn Patrol (NZ) (Dawn Approach).

Newcomers to the Series include the high-class mare Avantage (Fastnet Rock) and the South Islander Enzo’s Lad (Testa Rossa), who has won the Telegraph in each of the last two years.

The Telegraph will be run as Race 7 on Saturday with a start time of 3:52pm.

# Horse Draw Comments Trainer Jockey
1 Julius 9 A contender for the NZB Insurance Sprint Triple Crown Bonus, top-quality sprinter Julius (NZ) (Swiss Ace) won the Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day with a brilliant performance. He has won nine of his 16 starts and placed in another six, finishing outside the top three only once in his career. John Bell Jason Waddell
2 Endless Drama 1 Endless Drama (Lope de Vega) is a multiple Group 2 winner, and a Group 1 performer in both hemispheres. He won the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) in August, beating the likes of superstars Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) and Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle). His form line is unimpressive in recent starts, but he has struck plenty of bad luck along the way. Tony Pike Leith Innes
3 Enzo's Lad 7 South Island star Enzo's Lad (Testa Rossa) has triumphed in the last two editions of the Telegraph, and he will attempt to become only the third horse in history to win it three times. He also competed at Royal Ascot and in Hong Kong during 2019. He has placed in one of his three appearances in this season's Telegraph build-up. Michael & Matthew Pitman Michael McNab
4 Sensei 11 Sensei (Dream Ahead) is a stablemate of Enzo's Lad and has long been rated as, at the very least, his equal. He produced a big late finish for third in this race last year. His three starts this season have all been at stakes level, scoring a brilliant win in the Listed Pegasus Stakes (1000m) before placing in the Group 3 Stewards' Stakes (1200m) and Listed Hazlett Stakes (1200m). Michael & Matthew Pitman Sam Weatherley
5 Dawn Patrol 2 Dawn Patrol (NZ) (Dawn Approach) was an elite performer over 1600m last season, finishing second in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas, but he has found his niche over shorter distances this season. He won the Group 3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) in October, and he fought hard for a close fourth in the Railway. Frank Ritchie Jonathan Riddell
6 Speedy Meady 8 The winner of last season's Group 3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes (1200m), Speedy Meady (NZ) (Swiss Ace) has placed in this season's Listed Counties Bowl (1100m) and Hallmark Stud Handicap (1200m). He dead-heated for sixth in the Railway, only 1.9 lengths behind the winner. Stephen Ralph Chris Dell
7 Winter Bride 4 Gold Coast mare Winter Bride (Not a Single Doubt) was outstanding in defeat in the Railway. Breaking from one of the outside gates, she raced three-wide without cover but still chased Julius hard down the straight to be beaten by only a neck. She is a multiple Group winner over this distance in Australia. Toby & Trent Edmonds Ryan Maloney
8 Avantage 13 Avantage (Fastnet Rock) was the star two-year-old of her generation, winning the Karaka Million (1200m) and the Group 1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes. She was a Group winner on both sides of the Tasman last season. She had a disappointing spring, but resumed on a promising note with a strong second in the Hallmark Stud Handicap on Boxing Day. Jamie Richards Opie Bosson
9 Evalina 12 A stakes winner at Otaki two starts back, Evalina (I Am Invincible) was another outstanding performer in the Railway. She drew the second-from-outside gate, dropped back and produced a huge finish for a close third. She was stakes-placed in Sydney earlier in her career. Stephen Marsh Danielle Johnson
10 Sheezallmine 10 Bought for just $1,000 at the 2017 Festival Sale, Sheezallmine (NZ) (Super Easy) has won five of her nine starts and more than $124,000 in stakes. She won the Stewards' Stakes at Riccarton in November. Daniel Miller Rory Hutchings
11 The Precious One 6 Blue-blooded The Precious One (NZ) (Darci Brahma) is a daughter of multiple Group 1 winner The Jewel (NZ) (O'Reilly) and descends from one of New Zealand's most famous families. She has inherited that family ability, and she is coming into this race on the back of a career-best victory in the Hazlett Stakes. Claire Anderton Lisa Allpress
12 Xpression 3 Xpression (NZ) (Showcasing) was a multiple stakes winner at the ages of two and three, including the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) over this course and distance. She placed at Group 3 level in Sydney last season, and returned to New Zealand racing with a second placing at this venue early last month. Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen Michael Coleman
13 Spring Heat 5 She has sometimes been her own worst enemy, but Spring Heat (More than Ready) has stacks of talent, which she demonstrated with a booming finish to win at Ellerslie last start. She has won four of her 11 starts. Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott Craig Grylls

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