Capable pair back at Cromwell

Shane Anderton.
Shane Anderton.
Two of Otago's group contenders at New Zealand Cup week are back in action at Cromwell on Sunday.

Tommy Tucker and Coulee will take their places in the two open features at the Otago Racing Club's meeting after finishing 11th and sixth in their respective targets at Riccarton earlier this month.

Co-trainer Shane Anderton said the pair had been working well since their runs at Riccarton on November 9.

''I just think the track was a bit firm for us up there,'' he said.

''It was a bit on the better side. But they seem to have come through all right and are working all right so we'll see what happens.''

Coulee raced handy on the rail in the group 3 Canterbury Breeders' Stakes, but could not quicken, while Tommy Tucker got a check in the group 2 Coupland's Mile.

''He got the squeeze early and got back and it was hard work from there,'' Anderton said of Tommy Tucker.''

The Gallant Guru 8yr-old went north for the group 1 weight-for-age 1600m at Otaki last February, but Anderton said a trip to the North Island is unlikely this year.

''We're in a hard place at the weights now and we're not going to get much relief,'' he said.

Whenever they had taken on ''the good ones up north'' they had not fared too well.

''The White Robe [group 3 at Wingatui] is something long-term we're going to aim for - we'll just pick a few races to get him there.''

Fellow Wingatui trainer Terry Kennedy learned one thing about Princess Brook after her 15th in the New Zealand Cup - 3200m is beyond her.

''She just didn't stay the two miles,'' Kennedy said.

''She got [the distance], but not as fast as the other ones!''

The daughter of Raise The Flag ran fourth in the listed Dunedin Gold Cup last season, and Kennedy thinks the 2400m staying feature is the logical summer aim for her.

She will resume in the 2100m open handicap at Ascot Park on December 10 before aiming for the Gold Cup.

''She got that distance good and probably got about 2700m at Riccarton, so she'll run in the Dunedin Cup and Invercargill Cup,'' he said.

''We'll just stick more to the small ones rather than the big group 1s and group 2s. She's got two listed fourths so far, so a listed win will be good for her as a broodmare.''

Dalwhinnie is back after a six-week break after a ''little issue'' with fluid on a joint.

''It's not serious, but that's why she wasn't hitting out and doing things right,'' he said.

''[Veterinarian] Pete Gillespie said give her six weeks out and she'll have a full recovery. The Canterbury Gold Cup [in the autumn] could be a good aim for her. She goes in a wet track and handles Riccarton when it gets wet.''

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