Son Of Maher’s win highlights grand Cup week
21 November 2017, 2:28 p.m.
Riccarton trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman have Group One targets on Son Of Maher’s summer programme.
The New Zealand Cup carnival kings produced an impressive eight winners during the meeting, among them their highly-regarded five-year-old’s shared victory with Shadows Cast in the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m).
Son Of Maher Photo: Race Images South
“He’s a horse that I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think he’s the best horse I’ve ever trained,” Michael Pitman said.
“We’re going to come up to Trentham for the Captain Cook Stakes and then bring him back home and get him ready for the Thorndon Mile.”
Son Of Maher has enjoyed success on past visits to Wellington and as a three-year-old he was runner-up in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) and the following season finished fourth in the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m).
Stablemate Savvy Coup struck twice during the Riccarton carnival with a pair of runaway wins prompting Pitman to ponder the decision to withdraw her from the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
“Whether I made a mistake or not in pulling her out of the Guineas I don’t know,” he said.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing and maybe we should have progressed to the Guineas, but she hadn’t been going all that flash in the three-year-old races and wasn’t doing things quite right.
“We decided to go to the maiden race to get a bit of confidence and she certainly got her confidence because after she raced on the first day she improved so much and won with real authority on the Wednesday.
“She’s possibly going to Trentham as well for a three-year-old race over 1400m and then we’ll make a decision whether we go to Manawatu or go to Auckland.”
The options are the Gr.3 Lawn Master Eulogy Stakes (1550m) at Awapuni on December 16 or the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day.
“A run at Ellerslie would tell us if we went back for the Karaka Million or if we concentrate on the Levin Classic at Trentham in January,” Pitman said.
A Wellington trip in the New Year is also on the cards for Mr Typhon, who produced a strong performance to win on the final day of the meeting.
He will be nominated for the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m). – NZ Racing Desk.