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Black-type target next for Pitman three-year-old

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Three-year-old Swiss Ace filly Tee Cee Coup will be set to compete in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui next month after taking out the Punters Challenge 6 April - Enter Now Three-Year-Old (1200m) at Riccarton on Thursday.

However, punters were left to catch their breath on Thursday after the Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained runner only just managed to get up after being sent out a $1.60 favourite.

Tee Cee Coup looked beaten down the home straight when headed by stablemate Alonzo, but managed to call on all her reserves to get up by a short-head over Devious, with a half-head back to Alonzo in third.

"She’s a lovely filly," Michael Pitman said. "I thought she would lead and win easily, but she just missed the kick. But that’s actually a positive, that she can be ridden off the pace.

"She’s as green as a billiard table and was never going to win the race, but she has got that competitive spirit.

"She’s a lovely filly, we think a lot of her."

Tee Cee Coup will now be set for her first tilt at black-type level at Wingatui next month before possibly heading towards the Gr.3 Valachi Downs South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.

"She’s going to head to Dunedin, that was always going to be her next start. We will see how we go there," Pitman said.

"There’s a fillies and mares Group Three here, where a three-year-old filly would get in with a real luxury weight, with the allowance.

"There’s a long time between Dunedin and the next fillies race here at Riccarton, so we will just see."

Distance winner opens Cup favourite

They Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Mongolian Marshal has opened a $3 favourite with TAB Bookmakers for Saturday's Gr.2 Coca-Cola Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie.

The High Chaparral four-year-old is the winner of five of his 15 starts, including the Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m), and while four of those wins have been up to 1600m, Baker pointed out he had won at the trip.

"The horse is well but the distance is a query, though he has won a Waikato Cup at 2400m," Baker said.

The showy gelding has had a good run of form of late, backing up his Waikato Cup win in December with a placing in the Gr.3 City of Auckland Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day and a runner-up performance behind Five to Midnight in the Karaka Cup (2200m) at Ellerslie last month.

Glory Days opened as an equal $5.50 second favourite for the Avondale Cup alongside Five To Midnight.

Group One disappointment for Browne pair

The David and Emma-Lee Browne-trained duo of Belle du Nord and Stratocaster were disappointing in their respective back-type performances at Te Rapa last Saturday and their connections are planning their next steps with the pair.

Belle du Nord tailed the field home in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m), while Stratocaster finished unplaced in the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m).

"They were a little disappointing," Emma-Lee Browne said.

"I think the run didn’t go quite to plan for Belle du Nord and we’ll just have to write that one off. We are just in the stage of planning where we go next with her.

"Stratocaster has pulled up fine. He’s had quite a bit of racing lately, so we are just giving him a little freshen-up after that run and we’ll see after two weeks out in the paddock where we head to next with him."

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