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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Friday, May 26 2017

A strong weight carrying performance from the well-related Close Up at Ellerslie continued his unbeaten run this preparation.

Close Up  - Kenton Wright Race Images

The seven-year-old made light of his topweight to down Fire Jet, who was in receipt of six kilos, in the Equilume 1200 on Saturday.

Close Up had been successful when resuming at the Taranaki meeting a fortnight ago and he has now won nine of his 24 starts for Cambridge co-breeder, part-owner and trainer Shelley Hale.

"He blew the house down after New Plymouth so I gave him a couple of quiet days and he's bounced back really well," she said.

Close Up settled toward the back of a small field at Ellerslie before rider Grant Cooksley brought him down the outside and one cut of the whip was enough for the Shinko King gelding to down the Peter and Dawn Williams-trained Fire Jet and his barn mate Brilliant Shine.

"He's a neat horse and I was worried about the 60kg in the heavy conditions, but he's a tough horse," Hale said.

"I might bring him back here next Saturday, there's a 1400 metre race for him, and then perhaps the Opunake Cup."

Close Up is a brother to the Gr.2 Easter Stakes winner Seventh Up, whose Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap plans have been abandoned.

"We scoped him earlier this week and he had a bit of muck in his trachea so he's actually going out," Hale said.

"You've got to be 120 per cent if you are going to take on that level of competition."

Posted by: AT 03:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email