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Consensus needed on Australian campaign

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Ardmore trainer Stephen McKee is setting his Group One-winning mare Consensus a black-type target this month, he is just unsure where yet.

The seven-year-old mare made it back-to-back Group One wins last start when taking out the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) and McKee is keen to add more black-type to her record before she heads to the broodmare paddock.

McKee is weighing up between starting his mare in the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki, which she finished runner-up in last year, on February 23 or send her across the Tasman to line-up in the Gr.2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on the same day.

"It will either be Saturday-week for the Haunui Classic or the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield, that’s over 1800m and is two weeks before the Australian Cup (Gr.1, 2000m).

"She could go with one of those two options. We are pretty much keeping our options open at this stage."

Sydney beckoning Ever Loyal

Group One performer Ever Loyal is a strong chance in the Dunstan Feeds 1200 at Ellerslie on Saturday according to trainer Tony Pike after his recent performance at the Auckland track.

The four-year-old gelding finished runner-up to Ardrossan in the Gr.3 Concrode Handicap (1200m) last month and he could be set for an Australian campaign if he performs well on Saturday.

"He was very impressive fresh-up in the Concorde," Pike said. "He was off the scene for 12 months and I couldn’t be happier with his run.

"We are just using Saturday’s race really just to make sure he is at the top of his game. If he runs well again on Saturday, there’s a chance he could head to Sydney.

"There’s a nice race there called the Liverpool City Cup, a Group Three 1300m race at the end of the month."

One person that will be pleased to see him cross the Tasman is his Sydney-based owner, Rob Ferguson.

"Rob Ferguson, who is based in Sydney, he owns the horse and he is quite keen to take him over there for the carnival, or possibly Brisbane should he come up well," Pike said.

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