Son Of Maher set for Coupland’s Mile following prelude victory.
Leading local candidate Son Of Maher booked his place in the upcoming Coupland’s Bakeries Mile at Riccarton when he strode to a comprehensive victory on his home patch on the weekend.
Trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman targeted Saturday’s open 1400 metre contest to take advantage of the automatic qualifying spot it provided into the Group Two feature during New Zealand Cup Week and were rewarded with an emphatic performance from their charge.
|Son Of Maher Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images)|
Rider Samantha Wynne had the flashy five-year-old travelling beautifully behind the speed after securing a handy position through a deft piece of riding from a wide barrier. Wynne bided her time before angling wider on the home corner to issue a challenge that saw Son Of Maher dash to the front with 200 metres to run and ease away to a length victory at the line.
“We’ve had the Coupland’s Mile in mind for him right from the start of this campaign so it’s nice to get him in the field after that win,” noted Michael Pitman.
“We had thought about running him at Ashburton last week, but we knew a win here would get the automatic spot so that’s where we decided to go with him.
“He will get in now with a pretty competitive weight and while he is still on the way up we think he can put in a good showing.”
Pitman was also feeling a touch of relief to have the horse back in wining form after the decision was made to geld him following a disappointing four-year-old campaign.
“You are always taking a risk when you geld them as a late four-year-old, but I do think it has been the making of him,” he explained.
“He was just going through the motions towards the end of his last campaign, but he has been a different horse this time in and I think we will see the best of him in this campaign.
“That was only his second run back so there is plenty of improvement in him. The decision we have now is whether to give him another run before the Couplands or to go straight into the race from here.
“There is a suitable race at Wingatui on Melbourne Cup Day so if the track is okay he may go there but we won’t make up our minds about that until we see what the weather is going to do.”
The win took Son Of Maher’s career record to five wins from 22 career starts along with seven minor placings that include a runner-up finish in the 2016 Gr. 1 Levin Classic as a three-year-old. – NZ Racing Desk