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Stakes Goals for Stryker 2YO

Northland trainers Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs might double their hand for next month's Group I JJ Atkins Stakes in Brisbane if promising youngster Not Usual Trip can stay unbeaten at Te Rapa on Saturday.


The two-year-old son of Stryker followed an Avondale trial win with a decisive 3 1/4-length Ellerslie win on debut to earn a start in Saturday's Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre Stakes (1100m) at Te Rapa.

"We were very impressed," Gibbs said. "He was a bit green and I thought the Te Akau horse [runner-up Embellish] had us well covered on the home bend but I was stoked to see him show that turn of foot.

"He's trained on well and we're happy with him. He's going into this race in good order but it's a tough field. There are a lot of good, proven horses in there so it won't be easy."

While that respect for the opposition is clear, the fact that Not Usual Trip is on trial for Brisbane is a good indication of the opinion the stable has of the colt, especially when the stable already has last-start Listed Champagne Stakes winner Qiji Phoenix earmarked for the race.

"He'd probably go to Brisbane for the same two races as Qiji Phoenix - the QTC Sires' Produce and the J.J. Atkins but he'd have to win this weekend or be extremely unlucky to warrant travelling over," Gibbs said.



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