Hiflyer stuck on the ground in NZ

Caryl Williamson

New Zealand trainer Peter Lock has arrived in Sydney to get Hiflyer ready for the Winter Stakes.

Unfortunately the horse is still stuck at home as flight delays continue to ambush the plan.

Lock said the original flight which would have had Hiflyer in Sydney by 6.30am on Monday had been cancelled.

"There was another flight at 9.30 but that was cancelled and then the 3pm one was also cancelled," Lock said.

"There is another one supposed to leave New Zealand at 3am but it's doubtful because it's in Hawaii with a hydraulic problem.

"Luckily we worked him this morning and he's in his stable not stuck at the airport so hopefully if he gets here in time, I'l assess him and go from there."

Owned by Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan, Hiflyer is a dual Group Three winner in New Zealand and also Group One placed in the Thorndon Mile and won his most recent start over 1200m in an open handicap at Ruakaka carrying 61.5g on June 16.

Despite his record, Lock is puzzled by his high rating for Sydney with Hiflyer on top in the Winter Stakes on 106.

"It means he will get about 61 (kg) coming off a $30,000 race at home to a $150,000 race in Sydney," he said.

"It's a fair bit of weight and he's not a big horse. I thought the handicapper might have got us mixed up."

All going well, Hiflyer will be ridden by regular partner Jonathan Parkes in what Lock hopes can be an extended Sydney campaign.

"Hopefully he gets here and we'll know more on Wednesday where we are going," Lock said.

There were 20 nominations taken on Monday for the Winter Stakes including the Patrick Payne-trained pair Widgee Turf and Chamois Road who are also entered for Caulfield.

Hawkesbury trainer Jason Attard says last-start winner Reiby Rampart will wait another week for a fillies and mares race.