Overseas option for Pukekohe Park jumper
A Victorian campaign hasn’t been ruled out for the unbeaten hurdler Coolibah.
The seven-year-old’s owner-trainer Lesley Munro said she had discussed the possibility with Cambridge horsewoman Shelley Houston, who has enjoyed success in Victoria in recent seasons with her jumper Lucky Tonight.
"He would be ideally suited to steeplechasing in Australia and that’s still a possibility,” Munro said.
"I’ll wait and see how he goes at his next start, wherever that may be – I haven’t quite decided yet. I’ve been talking about things with Shaun as well.”
She was referring to leading jumps jockey Shaun Phelan, who two winters ago rode Coolibah to win races over the smaller fences at Hastings and at Te Rapa before they claimed the Sydenham Hurdles at Riccarton.
The Istidaad gelding was then forced out of the Grand National Hurdles with a suspected stone bruise, which subsequently turned out to be more serious and he underwent surgery to remove bone chips.
Coolibah was given last winter off and he has placed twice on the flat during his current preparation. The latest of them was in Rating 85 company at Ruakaka on Saturday.
"It was a great run and he always goes well there,” Munro said. "He should really be back jumping now, but the tracks have been so heavy.
"I’m in a bit of a quandary of what to do now. He could go back to Ruakaka for another flat race, but that would have to be in an open handicap or it will be a jumping race.” – NZ Racing Desk.