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Promise To Reign to end Cup drought

31 December 2017, 2:25 p.m.

Progressive mare Promise To Reign will look to end a frustrating run of minor placings in this summer’s major Cup races when she tackles the Gr. 2 Laser Plumbing Te Puke Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

The Brendan and Jo Lindsay owned five-year-old had to settle for third in a blanket finish to the Gr. 3 Counties Cup (2100m) before chasing home Five To Midnight in the Gr. 3 Waikato Cup (2400m) at her most recent appearance.

Promise To Reign Photo: Trish Dunell

Trainer Moira Murdoch, who prepares the mare with daughter Kieran from their Pukekohe Park base, believes her charge is ready to go one better at Ellerslie.

“She probably deserves a winning turn after going so close at her last two starts,” she said.

“She’s a very honest mare who just needs a little luck on her side as her racing style can lead to problems with traffic during her races.

“That certainly was the case at Te Rapa when she had to weave her way between horses while the winner was in the clear and getting a start on her.”

Murdoch is also looking for the weather to play its part in proceedings after her Boxing Day runners came unstuck on the shifty track that day.

“We do need the weather to play ball as she is best on a good surface,” she said.

“Our runners on Boxing Day couldn’t make up any ground which I put down to the track that day, so we have our fingers crossed the rain stays away.

“We’ve drawn a good barrier which will help so ideally she will get a good run one-off in midfield somewhere and Cameron (Lammas) can bring her into the race at the right time.”

While Murdoch is keen to see her charge strike gold on the day she also has designs on further riches at Ellerslie in the near future.

“Provided she comes through the race well we have another couple of targets for her coming up at Ellerslie,” she said.

“The City Of Auckland Cup on Karaka Million night is one option we are looking at while she also holds a nomination for the Auckland Cup in March.”

The Gr. 3 Windsor Park Stud City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) will be run at Ellerslie on 27 January while the Gr. 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m), the pinnacle event of Auckland Cup Week, is set for 10 March.  – NZ Racing Desk