Neasham stable chasing good four-tune in Hollindale Stakes

Andrew Smith - 9th May 2024

They are aiming for a fourth straight A.D. Hollindale Stakes victory this weekend, but this year it won’t be Zaaki flying the flag for the Annabel Neasham camp.

Instead, Mighty Ulysses, Jimi Hendrix, Numerian and Naval College will line up for the stable in Saturday’s weight-for-age feature over 1800 metres on the Sunshine Coast.

Neasham’s Brisbane-based assistant trainer Todd Pollard and his staff made the most of some morning sunshine during the week, taking Mighty Ulysses and Jimi Hendrix for a wade in the water at Nudgee Beach.

The duo will duke it out after a one-two finish in the Listed Brisbane Mile Handicap over 1600 metres at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.

The Group 2 race will go a long way to determining a plan of attack for the pair for the rest of the 2024 Queensland Racing Carnival.

“The Hollindale is a bit of a fact-finding mission for both horses, I suppose,” Pollard said.

“They’re proper horses from Europe, they’ve got really good form - Annabel has brought them to come over here and race them in good company.

“It’s good to see them get underway so soon in their Australian campaigns.

“They’ve had good runs and it’s exciting to see how they’ve trained on.”

A four-time winner in the United Kingdom, Mighty Ulysses is currently the favourite in the betting out of the four Neasham horses.

Pollard said the gelding’s run at Corbould Park would determine his hopes of stepping up to the Group 1 Doomben Cup in a fortnight’s time.

“He is a very good horse, but he’s also quite quirky and quite a hard-going horse,” Pollard said.

“He raced in the earmuffs for the first time at Eagle Farm and it seemed to work - the key to him is getting him to relax and switch off and finish off like he did the other day.

“Stepping up in distance to a race like the Hollindale – it’s probably working out whether he is going to get 2000m for the Doomben Cup or if he’s going to be a horse that’s a little too sharp and keen, and hard-going in his races.

“We may need to come back in trip.”

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