Open class star South Coast Arden is off to Sydney and will join the Paul Fitzpatrick stable.
The two-time Group 1 winner has not raced since finishing last in the New Zealand Cup won by Copy That on November 8 and has been spelling most of that time before spending a few weeks in treadmill training.
Co-owner Phil Kennard confirmed the move to HRNZ and says he and the other owners see it as more likely to be permanent than solely a NSW campaign.
“We had a few meetings and discussed a few names but we have very happy to have him going to Paul’s,” says Kennard.
“He will head there soon but because he has had such a long break I don’t think he will be racing until April at the earliest.”
South Coast Arden has had a difficult last 12 months for trainer Brent Mangos but at his peak as a late four-year-old and into the second half of 2021 he rated among the best three horses in the country. He was destructive winning the last race of what might turn out to be the last ever Harness Jewels at Cambridge while he went into the New Zealand Cup on 2021 as one of the favourites before finishing a brave third to Copy That and Self Assured. He also finished fourth in the first running of The Race by Grins. His departure to NSW will put more pressure on open class racing in the north, especially in the immediate future as Copy That and Old Town Road are already in Victoria while B D Joe and Alta Wiseguy soon head to NSW for a Miracle Mile campaign. However there are no substantial open class pacing races scheduled in the north for at least the next month. South Coast Arden will leave New Zealand shores the winner of of 13 of his 39 races and just over $500,000 in stakes.