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HK bound Talenti chasing three straight

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Talenti will be aiming for a winning hat-trick before he is transferred to Hong Kong.

Talenti runs for the final time in the care of Robert Hickmott ahead of his transfer to Hong Kong.

Unbeaten in two starts for Hickmott, Talenti has been bought by clients of retired champion Hong Kong jockey turned trainer Douglas Whyte.

After successive wins at The Valley, Talenti steps up to 1800m on Saturday in the Flemington Family Lawn Handicap.

South Australian-based Barend Vorster partnered Talenti in his two wins but has commitments at Morphettville on Saturday and has been replaced by Damien Oliver.

Hickmott said Talenti, who is owned in New Zealand, had passed the required veterinary examinations to go to Hong Kong.

“My brother Michael has sold the horse to Douglas Whyte and his clients in Hong Kong,” Hickmott said.

“The horse was bred and owned in New Zealand and Michael has been good friends with the family for a long time.

“That’s how we got the horse over here and I’m sorry to see him go as he’s a nice progressive horse and I’m sure he’ll do well in Hong Kong.”

Both of Talenti’s wins for Hickmott were over 1500m and the trainer is expecting the 1800m to be ideal.

Hickmott said racing at Flemington would also be beneficial for Talenti.

“He’s a big striding horse although he’s not a huge animal,” Hickmott said.

“He wobbled around The Valley a few times with the big weights, but under Barend’s strong riding he got the job done both times.

“There’s no doubt the step up won’t worry him and the seven-and-a-half kilo weight drop will also be advantageous.”

Hickmott also saddles Bumper Blast in The Lounge Trophy for Hong Kong-based David Price and Jenny Chapman, but the gelding will not be making his way to Asia.

Bumper Blast had a throat issue and Hickmott said Price did not want to take the chance of getting the gelding to Hong Kong and then having to give him time off.

“He had a bit of a pimply throat, a little bit of bacterial infection, and even though we’ve treated it up, there’s still remnants of it there,” Hickmott said.

After winning the greys only race at Flemington on Oaks day, Bumper Blast finished fifth at Ballarat on November 23.

“We’ve freshened up, back to 1400 metres and right down in weight, it will be the key to him,” Hickmott said.

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