WAGGA trainer Tony Donnelly will send Kitzbuhel to the $125,000 Country Classic at Rosehill in a fortnight after a fine front-running win in Saturday's Highway Handicap at Randwick.
Coming off an encouraging first-up third at Goulburn over 1500m at Goulburn two weeks ago, jockey Tim Clark took Kitzbuhel to the front from barrier one and the $5 second favourite proved too classy to win by nearly three-quarters of a length from $4.80 favourite Freedom Square.
It was the five-year-old gelding's fourth win in 13 starts, and his first since back-to-back wins at Wagga in June last year after making the move from England.
Donnelly believes he'll be at his peak when he steps up to 2000m in the Country Classic.
"Being a three win horse, we wanted to go to a Highway while he's still eligible, and it's a nice two week lead up into the Country Classic at Rosehill," Donnelly said.
"That race will bring him on, he just needed that to top him off for the 2000.
"Tim (Clark) watched the replays of his Wagga wins. I heard him on the radio say how he was going to ride him and I didn't need to tell him anything.
"He led over 1500 in probably stronger company last start (at Goulburn), and when he drew barrier one I didn't want him stuck in behind them so he was always going to lead again.
"He did a bit of work to get there, but once he did he had the race under control."
Meanwhile, fellow Wagga trainer Wayne Carroll secured a win with Sumdeel at Albury.
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The $2.60 favourite launched a sustained run from midfield to win the Benchmark 58 Handicap (1600m) by a length from the George Dimitropoulos-trained Blazing Zone.
The five-year-old mare was nearly retired after a handful of injuries and ulcer issues, but a third after a six-month hiatus over 1300m at Corowa last month, then finishing fourth at Albury on October 8 over 1400m had her ready for the step up in distance.
"She had some injuries, she was actually retired more or less about a year ago after a paddock accident," Carroll said.
"She suffers a lot from stomach ulcers and trying to keep condition on her body was always a major problem we had.
"Now we've got on top of that with some different medications and now she seems to be ulcer and injury-free.
"She has wraps on her legs 24-7 because she seems to have that knack of hurting herself.
"We've always had a very solid opinion of her and now she's matured she's getting better.
"Stepping up in ground was always going to improve her as she hadn't raced in such a long time.
"I might even remove the ear muffs off her to keep her sharp as she got a bit dour yesterday.
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