Oaks path likely for impressive Riccarton winner
Impressive three-year-old filly Savvy Coup could be on the path towards a start in the Gr. 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks (2400m) following her decisive maiden victory at Riccarton on Saturday.
Trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman have made no secret of the high regard they have for the Savabeel filly who delivered in style over 1400m in the hands of last season’s champion jockey, Chris Johnson.
|Savvy Coup Photo: Race Images South|
Johnson produced one of his trademark efforts to have the filly relaxed nicely behind the early speed before easing into the clear to issue a challenge shortly after entering the home straight. While his rivals were getting desperate at the 200m mark Johnson had yet to release the brakes on his charge, who had travelled effortlessly to the front at that stage.
Johnson eased a tight grip on the reins at that point and the filly bounded away under a hands and heels ride to score by two and a quarter lengths, without being asked for a serious effort.
Co-trainer Matthew Pitman was a happy man when questioned immediately after the race.
“Chris has a great knack of getting horses to relax for him and that certainly showed today,” he said.
“At the 300m mark she was travelling beautifully and he hadn’t moved on her, so I had quite a big smile on my face then.
“She’s been lining up in stakes races all the way through and had been a tad unlucky, so we thought she was up to that grade.
“Dropping back to the maidens today she showed her class.”
Pitman admitted the stable had big plans for the filly which could include a tilt at the Oaks in March.
“We hope that she can get up to an Oaks trip later on,” he said.
“She will have to learn to relax a little better, but she recovers so well after her races that we think she is the type who could take on an Oaks prep.”
Savvy Coup is the second foal of Pins mare Eudora who is sister to dual Group Three winner Legless Veuve and 2010 Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap runner-up Tootsie. Savvy Coup was a $65,000 purchase from the Waikato Stud draft during the Premier session of the 2016 NZB National Yearling Sale at Karaka.” – NZ Racing Desk