Lightly raced three-year-old filly Pinup Coup showed she was well on track for a tilt at the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) next month when she returned to winning form at Riccarton on Saturday.
The Matthew and Michael Pitman trained Pins filly was having her first run since a frustrating two-race campaign at Trentham last month which saw her finish an unlucky fifth in the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) on Wellington Cup Day.
“She just didn’t have any luck at Trentham and probably should have finished a lot closer in the Desert Gold,” said Matthew Pitman.
“The trip away didn’t do her any harm though and has toughened her up a bit.
“We’ve always thought she would be an Oaks filly as she wants to stay so that is where we have been heading with her.”
Pinup Coup put that potential staying prowess to good effect on Saturday as she produced a sustained finishing burst for rider Jacob Lowry to down dogged pacemaker Linedanceking by a head in the Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge 1600.
“We were confident of a good showing as she had done well since Trentham,” said Pitman.
“It was a lovely ride by Jacob and although it was close at the post he did say she did it with plenty in hand.
“It’s another good learning experience for her as she is lightly raced so she will be better for it.”
Pinup Coup will now accompany her stablemate Savvy Coup north for the Group 3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on 1 March.
The victory capped a winning double for the Pitman team who saw perennial bridesmaid Zakynthos record his second career victory in the previous event on the card. The win capped a frustrating run of five consecutive runner-up finishes for the four-year-old Zacinto gelding and added to celebrations on the day for the Pitman team who hosted friends, family and stable clients on-course to mark their win in the Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) with Enzo’s Lad along with Matthew’s 30th birthday.