The OPS Plumbing and Pipeline Stratford Cup (2000m) at Te Kapua Park on Saturday is the next stop on Matamata galloper Bizzwinkle’s cups journey.
The Glen Old-trained five-year-old has had a freshen up since his win in the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) in November.
“We haven’t done a lot with him since, he’s just done a bit of maintenance work,” Old said.
“Really tomorrow is all about giving him a bit of a pipe-opener before the Wellington Cup at Trentham in four weeks’ time.”
While he won Stratford’s feature race last year, Old said he’s not expecting Bizzwinkle to achieve back-to-back success in the race.
“He’s up in the weights seven kilos from last year,” he said. “Looking at the field I would like to think he would be in the first four but I’m not expecting him to win.”
Bizzwinkle is the top weighted runner in the race at 60kgs with his regular track work rider Jasmine Fawcett on-board and claiming 2kg.
The son of Rip Van Winkle led from the jump to the finish in the New Zealand Cup, as he is renowned to do, and while he’s drawn well at barrier two Old isn’t certain Bizzwinkle will lead on Saturday.
“We will just see what the tempo is like,” he said. “There are a couple that might go forward and we don’t want to get in a speed dual so if we can lead we will, otherwise we will just take a trail.”
Bizzwinkle is currently at fixed odds of $14 to win the Gr.3 NZ Campus For Innovation & Sport Wellington Cup (3200m) and Old said Saturday’s run along with a bit of jumping will have him fit and ready for the two-mile race.
“He’s a lovely big gelding to have around and he enjoys a bit of jumping,” he said.
“They’ve just taken the hurdles down at Matamata so I haven’t been able to do much jumping leading into this one, but I’d like to get him jumping before Wellington so hopefully they get the jumps back up for me.” – NZ Racing Desk