Kiwis Invade Queensland

Date: 3 May 2022

Kiwis Invade Queensland


Trenton Akers of reports:


Kiwi trainer Mark Walker says punters did not see the best of their highly touted colt Sword Of State last year during a failed spring carnival mission but can expect a better showing during the winter this time around.

The New Zealand star, along with Entriviere headlines a team of 34 Kiwi-trained horses that made the trip to Brisbane over the weekend as they look to make their presence felt.

With the Covid disaster of the last two years now a long memory, the Kiwi's are returning to Queensland and Walker expects his small team of three to pack a punch.

Replacing the Hong Kong-bound Jamie Richards, Walker will have Sword Of State (Gold Coast Guineas) and Soprano Supreme (Gold Coast Cup) race this weekend while Entriviere heads to the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 next week first-up.

With three starts in Sydney and Melbourne during the spring, Sword Of State finished no better than fifth, but Walker says there were excuses.

“He went to Australia in the spring and got a foot abscess so things never really went right for him,” he said. “His record is pretty good overall, It will be better for him this time around.

“He really battled with the foot abscess over there but it is well and truly behind him now.

“He has been impressive back here, Aussie sprinters are generally quicker than ours but we need to see how he measures up this time around.”

Randwick Barrier trials

Sword Of State will go around in the Gold Coast Guineas this weekend. Picture: Mark Evans — Getty Images.

Walker said if the Gold Coast presents a heavy track, he would not run the colt, who boasts six wins from 10 starts in his career.

Originally kicking off his career with Te Akau in New Zealand, Walker moved to Singapore to head up their Asian operation before getting the call to return home with Richards' impending departure.

While he has walked into the country's most powerful stable, Walker says not much changes for him.

“It's a bit like riding a bike really, you don't forget how to do it,” he said. “It has started off well.

“I have had good horses when I was here before, Darci Brahma, Kings Chapel and all those sort of horses.”

Leading New Zealand rider Opie Bosson will ride Sword Of State this weekend and Entriviere in the Doomben 10,000, while Kerrin McEvoy is booked for the lightweight ride on Soprano Supreme in the Gold Coast Cup.


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