Annabel Neasham Imports Descend On Rosehill

Multiple Group 1 winner Zaaki and Hong Kong Mile placegetter Laws Of Indices have been great advertisements for Annabel Neasham’s knack with imported horses.

Now she is looking to the next batch of former Europeans to make their presence felt as she prepares to saddle up a quartet of relatively fresh faces at Rosehill on Saturday.

Sibaaq and Bois D’Argent, who both made their local debuts last year, clash in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m), while former Irish galloper Gear Up is scheduled for his first Australian start in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m).

Claim The Crown rounds out Neasham’s quartet of imports in the TAB Handicap (1900m).

Sibaaq is the most exposed of the group with eight starts since his arrival and after a low-key start, has made significant progress.

Finishing second in the Big Dance and Five Diamonds in the spring, Sibaaq resumed with an encouraging fourth to Think About It at Randwick last month and Neasham is keen to see him back in the winner’s circle ahead of his main autumn goal.

“His first-up run was very good. It was a slow tempo, but he ran home well,” Neasham said.

“He’s overdue a win but he had an amazing prep last campaign placing in the Big Dance and the Five Diamonds.

“He’s on a Doncaster path so he’ll head to the Ajax and the 1500 at Rosehill will be ideal.”

Bois D’Argent, a Listed winner over a mile in France, made a strong start in Australia when third in the Rosehill Gold Cup (2000m) in October under then-trainer Marco Botti.

He has his first start for Neasham on Saturday and holds nominations for several feature races, including the Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

Former Joseph O’Brien-trained stayer Gear Up could likewise represent his new stable for the first time, pending track conditions.

“He handles good tracks, but he probably doesn’t want rattling firm tracks,” Neasham said.

“He is a good horse. He’s a Group One winner over ten furlongs as a two-year-old and he’s got quite good form as a four-year-old in Europe last year.

“He’s a real stayer but there is a lot to look forward to with him.”

The winner of five of his 14 starts, Gear Up hasn’t raced since finishing fourth at Group 2 level over 2400m at Kempton Park in September.

– RAS NewsWire

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