Queensland freak The Harrovian will have an entourage of 50 of his biggest fans on All-Star Mile day but the owners, including his former trainer, hope border restrictions lift so they can travel to watch him launch his Melbourne autumn mission this Saturday.
Cairns trainer Stephen Massingham, who prepared the cult horse before Toby and Trent Edmonds took over for his last two wins of an 11-race winning sequence, is keen to jet to Victoria to watch the galloper resume in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap at Flemington.
And so too are many others in the horse’s fan club – however Queensland border regulations currently dictate that anyone who travels to Victoria must serve a two-week quarantine period on returning to the Sunshine State.
“At this stage, we can get to Melbourne but we can’t get home (unless abiding by a quarantine period),” Massingham said.
“I’ve got 15 horses at home that I need to look after.
“I’m hoping restrictions may be lifted Friday or Saturday but most us are going to wait until the last minute to book a flight.
“We are waiting to see what’s going on.
“If we can’t get down we will go to one of Tom Hedley’s (part-owner‘s) pubs in Cairns and have a few beers while watching the horse on Saturday.
“Regardless, there will hopefully be about 40 or 50 of us coming down for the All-Star Mile to cheer the horse on next month.”
The Harrovian (orange colours) record his 11th straight win. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography.Source:The Courier-Mail
Regardless of the border situation, Brisbane rider Brad Stewart has committed to The Harrovian’s entire autumn mission and will ride this Saturday and then stay on for the All-Star Mile at The Valley on March 13.
It was initially planned The Harrovian would race first-up in last Saturday’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes but the team took the easier option this Saturday.
That decision now seems justified given big guns Probabeel and Arcadia Queen ran one-two in last week’s weight-for-age event and now hold equal $3.50 favouritism for The All-Star Mile.
The Harrovian is $5 on Saturday and $26 in the All-Star Mile but Massingham is convinced the seven-year-old gelding won’t be just making up the numbers in Melbourne.
“Next month, we get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a go at a $5 million race but in saying that you would think those horses would be too good for us,” Massingham said.
“But you never know until you have a crack.
“When he left Cairns we were wondering if he would be up to Brisbane grade, he has gone to Brisbane and won four straight.”
The Harrovian has drawn favourably in barrier three for his 1400m test at Flemington on Saturday.
Cairns trainer Stephen Massingham with Harrovian last year. Picture: Stewart McLean.Source:News Corp Australia
Originally published asThe Harrovian’s fan club waiting on travel call to Melbourne
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