Awapuni trainer Ashley Meadows is pleased with his stable star Duplicity ahead of the Listed Gallagher Marton Cup (2200m) on his home track on Saturday and he is hoping the gelding can record his first stakes victory as a trainer.
The son of Duporth came close to achieving that goal in November when finishing runner-up in the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton and Meadows believes Duplicity has the ability to breakthrough for that elusive stakes victory.
“I think he is good enough, he can reel off some pretty fast sectionals,” Meadows said. “He can run the times this good horse, so there is no reason why he can’t.”
Duplicity went one better last-start, winning the Manawatu Cup Prelude (2000m) at Awapuni last month and Meadows said that although that win was a bit unexpected he thinks his charge can repeat that form on Saturday.
“He galloped here on Tuesday, he is pretty spot on,” Meadows said. “His last-start win was a bit unexpected actually, I think we were a bit lucky more than anything there. We got the good run up on the inside and we had no weight, but it was a good win though.
“He is pretty well, I think he will be hard to beat.
“The only real hiccup that we have had is that Rosie (Myers, jockey) was originally meant to be on him, but she got suspended so I was lucky enough to get Ryan (Elliot) at the last minute.
“He’s in good form and is riding with a bit of confidence, so that helps too.”
Meadows is using the Marton Cup as a lead-in for the Gr.3 NZ Campus For Innovation & Sport Wellington Cup (3200m) later this month and said he has been keeping a close eye on his opposition ahead of Saturday.
“It is a pretty handy field, I have been watching them for a while now,” Meadows said. “We are heading in the same direction, the Wellington Cup.
“He’ll head straight there after Saturday. It is his main aim for the summer, but he does hold a nomination for the Auckland Cup. I’ll just get through the Wellington Cup first and see how we go.”
Meadows purchased Duplicity out of Lime Country Thoroughbred Ltd’s 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale draft for $27,500 and he said the six-year-old has developed into the best horse that he has trained.
“I liked his pedigree, he’s got a really good staying pedigree. He has got a slight club foot, so he was in my price range,” Meadows said.
“Duplicity has been by far the best horse I have trained. I have had a couple of handy ones that have been sold to Hong Kong and other places, but he’s the best one I have kept.”
Meadows has also developed a liking for his sire Duporth, with his only other stable runner, Du’blues, being by the Group One winner.
Last-start winner Du’blues will contest the last race on the card at Awapuni, but her trainer believes the four-year-old mare may be suited more towards autumn racing.
“I do like them (Duporth’s),” Meadows said. “I sort of got lucky with Du’blues. At the time Duplicity looked promising early on and I ended up leasing her.
“It is a bit of a step up for her really (on Saturday), going from maidens to (rating) 65. She is stepping up to the mile too.
“Her best two runs this time in were at Christchurch with that cut out of the track and it was pretty wet the other day, so she might be better placed in the autumn.”
Meadows is looking forward to racing his small team over summer and said he is excited what is in store for Duplicity in the coming months. – NZ Racing Desk