Darci Coup won the $15,000 Clare Memorial Gold Cup at Omakau yesterday to complete a five-race winning streak for trainer Michael Pitman at the Central Otago meeting.
Darci Coup had won the Waikouaiti Cup on Wednesday when Pitman won five races. He won seven races at Waikouaiti in 2012. He had won the Clare Cup with Fellini (2012) and Million Joys (1987).
David Walsh rode Darci Coup in both her wins. He also won on the Pitman-trained Lukander, one of his three rides for the day. He finished second on Commanding Oak.
Southern Sav came within a nose of giving Pitman six successive wins yesterday after missing the start by several lengths over 2000m. He was just beaten by Motorbike Mike.
Darci Coup dropped out to last in a fast run 2000m and she came from eight lengths of the pace at the 600m to win going away by half a length from King Prawn with a similar margin to Alpine Heights. King Prawn was subsequently relegated to third for shifting in over the closing stages and tightening Alpine Heights.
Pitman also won yesterday with Gervasio, El Doute and Coup Darci Be.
Lukander entered calculations for the guineas events in Otago and Southland with a superb maiden win.
She settled last in a 12-horse field, some 12 lengths from the lead over 1400m and sustained a big run from the 800m to win by two and three quarter lengths. Her effort confirmed her big run for second at Waikouaiti on Wednesday.
Lukander, owned by Pitman's brother, John, is the third winner from as many foals to race out of Sutology, the dam of Conscious Mistake and Berenice. Lukander is by Henrythenavigator, the winner of four Group I races in a row to 1609m in Europe and sire of a Group I winner.
John Pitman will offer a colt by Encosta De Lago out of Sutology at the Magic Millions sale on the Gold Coast on January 14. He sold a half brother by High Chaparral for $300,000 at a Sydney Easter sale.
Sutology, a Group II winner over 2000m at Flemington, is at stud in Australia.
''He will go a Derby trip (2400m),'' said Jamie Bullard, who rode El Doute, an entrant for the New Zealand Derby. Pitman said he would now look at racing the big Redoute's Choice colt in the $240,000 Group I Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on January 18. His win yesterday was over 1400m.
''He has just improved so much since being at Waikouaiti. He has responded to working up the hill and going to the beach,'' Pitman said.
He said he would only start three or four horses at Greymouth today. He said Venetian Raider and Kiatere were definite starters.
Alex Freeman, who has returned to Victoria from Wingatui due to personal reasons, trained the maiden winner, Nancho Lass yesterday.
Nancho Lass and stablemate Big Meadsy, a fast finishing second at Waikouaiti on Wednesday, have been in the care of Wingatui trainer Paul Richards for three weeks. Freeman had his other win as a trainer at Omakau last year with Ustibecasual when based at Alexandra. He was earlier a farrier in Melbourne.
Freeman has resigned from his partnership with Charlotte Neilson in a public notice, published in the Otago Daily Times yesterday.
The partnership has thus been dissolved. They traded as Grandview Equestrian. Freeman was listed at a Ballarat address. Neilson, the marketing manager of the Otago Racing Club, is listed at a Mosgiel address.
Nancho Lass is raced by long time owner, Clive Booth, of Lauder and his wife, Clare. Mr Booth who raced the useful winners, Care Dee(eight) and Kisses For Me in the late 1970s and early 80s, bred Nancho Lass who is by Mr Nancho from the Hereward The Wake mare, Wydawake.
The Richards-trained Natuzzi will remain at Pukekohe to prepare for the $250,000 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham on January 18.
Natuzzi finished eighth in the Railway Stakes at Ellerslie on Wednesday.
''I was rapt with his run. He had little room in the closing stages and only finished three and a half lengths from the winner,'' Richards said.
''He will start in the Telegraph on the way home.''
Hell Raiser, who had won a $40,000 bonus at Riccarton in November, cleared maiden ranks yesterday. The 3-year-old Any Suggestion filly, collected the bonus - $30,000 for the owner, $5000 for the trainer and $5000 for the breeder when she finished sixth at Riccarton. The bonus was available through her purchase by Nathan Campbell, Adam Brown and Jason Coutts, all of Dunedin at the South Island sale in 2012.
She cost $5000. Hell Raiser is trained by Steven Prince, who prepared Lemon Honey to win for the same owners at Omakau in March, 2012. Lemon Honey was subsequently retired after she injured a tendon.
Gold Leaf who had been scratched at the barrier at the Timaru meeting six days earlier, won easily yesterday.
''He was declared lame at Timaru but there was nothing amiss with him the next day. I am still pursuing the matter,'' co-trainer Brian Anderton said.
- The Southland Times