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"Deal Close" For NZ Stayer Red Shift Sale To Aust
In New Zealand, a "deal is set to be finalised that will see NZ Derby candidate Red Shift change hands but remain with his trainer Regan Donnison until after the March 3 classic" reported theinformant.co.nz. The Lucky Unicorn gelding "who has won his last 2 starts in the manner of an emerging stayer, has been under the eye of high-profile Melbourne-based operation OTI Racing". Representative Terry Henderson attended trackwork at Matamata yesterday morning "accompanied by the NZ agent Phill Cataldo & well known English horsewoman Francesca Cumani, who is spending the late summer in Australia". Cumani (daughter of leading trainer Luca Cumani & "closely involved with the stable's runners in various parts of the world") put Red Shift "through his paces in his main gallop leading up to this weekend's Avondale Cup & Guineas meeting at Avondale"; afterwards she "gave Henderson & Cataldo the thumbs-up, all but cementing negotiations for OTI to purchase him". Henderson (famous in NZ for his purchase of subsequent Melbourne & Caulfield Cup winner Doriemus as a late-maturing 3YO in the mid-1990s) confirmed: "He's the sort of horse I like to buy out of New Zealand." And Cataldo noted Red Shift "has already passed his veterinary examination & now it's just a matter of finalising the details. The deal is close to being completed. One of the conditions will be that he remains in the Donnison stable until after the Derby. What happens beyond that is undecided at this stage, but more than likely he'll have a spell before being prepared for racing in Australia."