Pitman’s continue to make strides

Motiontime winning at Riccarton on Thursday. Photo: Race Images South

Riccarton trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman continued to enjoy a successful week on their local polytrack on Thursday, adding another win to their tally courtesy of Motiontime.

“She ended up getting a nice cushy run and probably dictated the race even though she was sitting in second spot,” Michael Pitman said. “She has done a great job that filly.”

It was a rare double-header meeting on Riccarton’s synthetic track this week, with Wednesday’s meeting scheduled following the abandonment of racing at Phar Lap Raceway on Sunday, and Pitman said it shows the importance Riccarton’s polytrack over the winter months.

“It has got its place in racing,” he said. “It is a winter alternative and I appreciate them running two days of races (on the surface). I think there was $107,000 in stake money distributed on Wednesday that normally wouldn’t be made available, and that is appreciated.”

Motiontime’s victory also brought up the stable’s 50th win of the season, putting them 16 wins clear on the South Island Trainers’ Premiership ahead of fellow Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston.

The father-and-son training partnership has particularly taken delight out of seeing the progression of a number of their runners this term.

“The improvement of Mystic Park, Star Ballot and Charbano has been a highlight,” Pitman said.

“Third Decree has gone from winning a maiden race at Kumara to running second in a Great Easter (Listed, 1400m) over a distance which we thought may have been too much for her, but she went well.

“Our team has been going really well all season, we are really proud of them.”

Pitman is hoping the stable can further add to their 50-win haul this season, with Moitiontime set to return to Riccarton’s synthetic track to try and qualify for a lucrative polytrack target during Riccarton’s Grand National Festival of Racing in August.

“Motiontime gets another opportunity to run in a set weights and penalties 1400m race on the poly, so that is where she will head,” he said. “We are trying to qualify her for that $100,000 race on the middle day of the Grand National Carnival.”

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