Awapuni trainer Ashley Meadows is looking at the big picture with exciting stayer Duplicity which will mean skipping a home track feature this coming weekend.
The Duporth six-year-old had ensured he would start as one of the main fancies in the Gr.3 Hotel Coachman Manawatu Cup (2200m) on December 22 with a strong victory in the Rich Hill Stud Manawatu Cup Prelude (2000m) on Saturday.
Handled superbly by apprentice Danielle Hirini, Duplicity weaved a passage one off the fence in the home straight before charging home in the final stages to score a comprehensive victory over topweight Peso and race favourite Hinerangi.
Meadows, however, is concerned a win in the Manawatu Cup would see his charge attract a weight penalty for his main goal this summer, the Gr.3 NZ Campus for Innovation & Sport Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham next month.
Meadows believes Duplicity is in with a royal show of taking out the time-honoured Trentham feature if he can make the field on the lowest weight possible. Proven at the two-mile journey following his narrow defeat in the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) last month, Duplicity looms as a leading contender for the Trentham test.
“He’s quite an exciting prospect who seems to come right at this time of the year,” Meadows said.
“He held his form nicely during his summer campaign last year and has matured further this prep.
“He holds a nomination for the Wellington Cup and that has been our aim all along.
“He enjoys the big roomy tracks so Trentham suits and as long as I can get him into the Cup with a good weight, I think he can be very competitive.
“That means we will most likely miss the Manawatu Cup this weekend and go for the Marton Cup in early January instead.
“The Marton Cup is penalty free, so if we could win that it would be perfect as the lead-in to Trentham, especially if some of the higher-rated horses ahead of us in the Cup nominations drop out of contention.”
Meadows admitted he wasn’t confident of a victory on the weekend despite Duplicity having freshened up nicely from his Riccarton exertions.
“He had ten days in the paddock when he got back from down south and just thrived,” he said.
“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on Saturday although I knew he had done everything right in the build-up.
“It was a good effort to win and I was really pleased with Danielle who rode him superbly. I heard someone say it was the ride of the day and I tend to agree as she was very patient and waited for the gaps to appear without covering an inch of extra ground.”
Meadows reported Duplicity had pulled up well and will enjoy an easy time for a few days before continuing his preparation for the Listed Gallagher Marton Cup (2200m) which will be run at Awapuni on January 5. – NZ Racing Desk