New addition to Livamol Classic-winning stable
Hastings trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen will unleash another string to their bow at Awapuni on Saturday.
Lowry and Cullen have already made it a season to remember with the win of Wait A Sec in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2400m) on their home track and they have produced some promising younger horses working through the grades, while coming up nicely is their dual Group One placegetter Savvy Dreams.
|Saint Kitt Photo: Race Images Palmerston North|
Adding to their string is a newcomer to the stable, Saint Kitt, who will resume in the Wai Pine Limited/John Turkington Forestry Bulls Country Cup (1500m) on Saturday.
Formerly owned and trained by Kelly Burne, Saint Kitt has been leased by Cullen and his partner, Nikki Lourie, and goes into this weekend’s assignment fresh-up, having not raced since finishing unplaced in the Great Autumn Handicap (2500m) at Riccarton last May.
Hastings-based Burne had campaigned Saint Kitt in the South Island then left him in the care of Riccarton trainer Pam Robson before bringing him home for a spell.
“Kelly had given him a spell then got him up to the jumpout stage when she decided she was going to virtually give up training and maybe just do one or two,” Cullen said. “She was going to retire him so we leased him.
“He went some good races down south and he’s worth trying again. He hasn’t been over-raced.”
Saint Kitt has won seven of his 45 starts and his form this year includes wins in the Dunedin Gold Cup Trial (2000m) and Hororata Gold Cup (1800m), in addition to finishing second behind La Nouvelle Vague in the Listed Dunedin Gold Cup (2400m).
A highlight from early in his career was when fourth behind Habibi in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), while he also performed well at Ellerslie when sixth in Who Shot Thebarman’s 2014 Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m).
Saint Kitt hasn’t seen a racetrack since entering Cullen’s care. Instead all his work has been done on the Dannevirke farm which was pivotal in having Wait A Sec at his peak for the Livamol Classic.
“We’ve been doing things similar to what we did with Wait A Sec,” Cullen said. “He’s done plenty of hill work and some dressage.
“He is coming up well, but the 1500 metres will be too short for him on Saturday. Kelly tells me he needs three or four runs to hit form.
“He’ll probably get back on Saturday and as long as he is running on and showing something I’ll be pleased.”
Saint Kitt has been nominated for both the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) and the Gr.3 Wallaceville Estate Wellington Cup (3200m).
It will be a special thrill for Cullen if he gets to the Trentham staying feature on January 20 as he landed his first major prize as a trainer when the outsider Miss Bailey won the 1999 Wellington Cup.
“I’d like to get him to the Wellington Cup,” Cullen said. “We’ll look at suitable lead-up races and hopefully he comes up well.”
Meanwhile, stable star Wait A Sec is due back in the stable on December 1 after enjoying a three-week spell.
“The break has done him the world of good and he’ll run first-up in the Anniversary Handicap at Trentham,” Cullen said. “The main aim is the Auckland Cup.” - NZ Racing Desk