Savvy Coup primed for Ma­tri­arch at Flem­ing­ton

The New Zealand Herald - - Supersport -

The oc­ca­sion sur­round­ing the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) with glam­our mare Winx got too much for Kiwi gal­loper Savvy Coup ac­cord­ing to her con­nec­tions, but they be­lieve she is primed to con­test her ma­jor Mel­bourne tar­get to­mor­row, the Gr.2 Ma­tri­arch Stakes (2000m) at Flem­ing­ton.

The Kiwi mare pulled hard through­out the Moonee Val­ley fea­ture a fort­night ago and Michael Pit­man, who trains the mare in part­ner­ship with his son Matthew, was happy enough with the run de­spite the cir­cum­stances.

“She just lost the plot [in the Cox Plate],” he said. “She was quiet and very set­tled out the back, but as soon as she got into the pa­rade ring she just lost it. She pulled hard in the pre­lim, she got bumped a cou­ple of times by Winx and she just over­raced and ran her­self into the ground re­ally.

“We think she has im­proved since the Cox Plate, which was al­ways go­ing to be the case be­cause I’ve quite openly stated that the Cox Plate wasn’t her grand fi­nale, it just hap­pened that it was a suitable race to use to lead into the Ma­tri­arch,” Pit­man said. “She worked re­ally good on Tues­day and she’s come through the race re­ally well.”

Savvy Coup has drawn the out­side bar­rier in the 15 horse field, but that poses no con­cern for Pit­man who is con­fi­dent with the mare who is a $7.50 equal se­cond-favourite for the race with TAB book­mak­ers.

“I’d rather draw there than the in­side be­cause Flem­ing­ton has had plenty of rac­ing on it and the fence might be a bit off I would imag­ine. It has had three days of rac­ing on it al­ready this week,” Pit­man said.

“She has drawn wide plenty of times, she drew wide in the Oaks and the Li­va­mol and Chris [John­son, jockey] will work it out.

“I’ve been in Aus­tralia enough times, I’ve won 20-odd races there, to know that if you’re in the mar­ket you’re a chance.

“She was a 60-1 shot in the Cox Plate and ran ac­cord­ingly, but this week she is se­cond favourite in the Ma­tri­arch.”

Al­though Pit­man, who is bat­tling bowel cancer, was able to make it to Mel­bourne for the Cox Plate, he won’t be on course at Flem­ing­ton to­mor­row as he is cur­rently in hos­pi­tal after com­pli­ca­tions re­lat­ing to his ill­ness.

His stay in hos­pi­tal will also mean that he will be un­able to at­tend races on his home­track of Ric­car­ton to­mor­row where his sta­ble will lineup 20 run­ners, in­clud­ing three in the Pe­ga­sus Stakes Hand­i­cap (1000m).

The Pit­man sta­ble holds a strong hand in the race with last-start win­ner Morse Code and stakes-placed geld­ing Mr Typhoon, but Pit­man has la­belled four-year-old en­tire Sen­sei as his best chance.

“If it was a dry track I would ex­pect Sen­sei to win it,” he said.

Photo Tr­ish Dunell

Savvy Coup is a $7.50 equal sec­ond­favourite for the Ma­tri­arch Stakes to­mor­row.

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