Thursday NZ news briefs – Saavy Coup set for Oz Oaks

Irish Express
Chris Johnson takes the ride on Saavy Coup in this weekend’s Australian Oaks

The Savvy Coup team have turned to one of the best to further their chances of success in Saturday’s A$1 million Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

The Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained filly has been based at the stables of former top jockey and Group 1-winning trainer Ron Quinton, whose decades of experience will also benefit the three-year-old’s rider Chris Johnson.

“Chris comes over Thursday night with Matthew and he will walk the Randwick track with Ron Quinton on Friday,” Michael Pitman said.

“We are staying with Ron and he is not only a great horseman, but a hell of a bloke. “So to have him taking Chris for a walk around Randwick to discuss tactics, we couldn’t have a better man for the job.”

Gallante in holding pattern Sydney Cup winner Gallante won’t run again till he strikes a wet track, Hamilton trainer Graeme Rogerson said.

Rogerson conceded that he had made a mistake in starting the $2 million earner fresh-up in last Saturday’s Te Aroha Cup (2200m) on a good surface.

“I shouldn’t have run him. He’s no good on dry ground,” Rogerson said.

“He won’t run now until the tracks turn. It’s no secret he’s a mud runner, though Ryan [Elliot, jockey] did say he had a hell of a job pulling him up at the end of the race so that says he is pretty well.”

Another of Team Rogerson’s Australian imports, Assign, will have his second New Zealand trial at Te Awamutu next Tuesday.

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Quirky customer Malo Blik a strong Te Rapa hope

Malo Blik has his share of tricks and trainer Allan Sharrock believes he can put them to good use at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The Dalghar three-year-old has fashioned a tidy record of a win and five placings and will go into the Sensortronic Scales 1200m off the back of a close second at New Plymouth.

“He’s going well, he’s got a few quirks but I’m sure he’s going to be competitive again,” Sharrock said.

Thurlow looking to double up Bill Thurlow is hoping a home track victory today with Wee Gillie will be the forerunner to further success at the weekend.

The Waverley trainer produced the Roc de Cambes filly at her third start to comfortably beat her older rivals in the Norwoods Maiden (2200m) and now his focus turns to her talented stablemate Glory Days, who resumes in Saturday’s Congratulations Miss Wilson 1300m at Hastings. “I’m really happy with her and she’s been working well,” Thurlow said.

Glory Days has won three of her 11 starts, including a Premier success during the Cup carnival at Riccarton, and hasn’t raced since Trentham in January.