Darci Coup eyes Dunedin Cup

ON TARGET: Darci Coup (David Walsh) wins the Gore Cup on January 18. She is the favourite for the Dunedin Cup tomorrow.
ON TARGET: Darci Coup (David Walsh) wins the Gore Cup on January 18. She is the favourite for the Dunedin Cup tomorrow.

Darci Coup has much to recommend her chance in the $50,000 Dunedin Cup at the premier meeting at Wingatui tomorrow.

She has won her last three starts - the Gore, Clare Memorial and Waikouaiti Cups and ran a good second in the Dunedin Cup last year.

Darci Coup has 56kg, 0.5kg more than she carried to win the Gore Cup (2000m) at her last start when she was seen in the unaccustomed role of pacemaker.

She was late working clear when runner up to Monachee in a gap of six and a half lengths in the Dunedin Cup (2400m) last year. Trainer Michael Pitman has since had his eye on the Coupland's Bakeries sponsored race with the Ray and Jill Coupland-owned Darci Coup.

Jamie Bullard is the replacement rider for David Walsh, who is recovering from illness.

Monachee is in the field tomorrow but she has not reproduced her best form this season.

The last start win of Alpine Heights in the Trentham Stakes (2100m) has elevated him to topweight of 59kg. He meets Darci Coup a kilogram better off than in the Clare Memorial Cup at Omakau when he finished third, promoted to second.

Black Stockings won the Dunedin Cup Trial at Ashburton last week and The Bishop is a lightweight prospect after wins in his last two starts.

Darci Coup is a $3.80 favourite in final field betting with the TAB.

Pitman feels El Chico is capable of measuring up under topweight of 59kg in the $75,000 White Robe Lodge Handicap (1600m). He has a reservation about the chance of El Doute and Lukander in the Dunedin Guineas.

''The 1400m may be too short for my pair in the Guineas,'' he said.

El Chico carried 59kg to win the Timaru Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton last Saturday and a similar weight when he won the Timaru Cup (1600m) two starts earlier.

The Diamond One and Natuzzi share favouritism at $4.50 for the White Robe. The Diamond One was a brilliant last start winner of a listed 1200m at Wingatui on December 26. She is on the minimum with 53kg.

Natuzzi has been runner up in two major sprints this season and staged a big run for second in the White Robe last year.

El Doute shares favouritism at $4.50 with Charlestown. El Doute ran fifth in the Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham this month and Charlestown won a rating 65 1400m there. Charlestown is trained by Lisa Latta and ridden by Daryl Bradley, a combination that won the Dunedin Guineas last year with ill-fated Platinum Kingdom.

The Otago punter of the year competition has attracted a lot of interest according to Andre Klein, the chief executive officer of the Otago Racing Club. The first prize (individual) is a trip to Auckland Cup day. The team prize is a night at the Dunedin Casino.

The Southland Times