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The prospect of rain is the big hurdle in front of Canterbury galloper Son Of Maher as he attempts to break a frustrating run of outs in today’s Beaumont Cup (1600m).
The Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained 7yr-old will be attempting to win his first race since October 2018.
Son Of Maher showed he was ready to strike with a good last-start effort over 1400m behind Belle Fascino at Riccarton.
"We were really happy with his last start," Matthew Pitman said.
"Chris Johnson hopped off and said he went really well.
"Unfortunately he had a prior engagement, so Kozzi Asano is on him and I don’t think he will lose anything there."
The track was rated a good3 for that meeting, the same rating the Wingatui track has held in the past week.
MetService predicts showers for the Dunedin region this afternoon.
How much effect they have on the track will be crucial to Son Of Maher’s chances.
"He wants it rock-hard. Everyone knows that," Pitman said.
"He has had no luck all season."
"We have targeted group 1 and group 2 races with him and he has drawn the outside or one from the outside nearly every time.
"When he hasn’t he has gone some good races.
"He has a reasonably good record at Dunedin, so hopefully he can get a track to suit."
White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age winner Killarney looks the horse to beat following his last-start second to Gallant Boy at Wingatui last month.
The Pitman stable starts its day in race 1 with Golden Harvest, who looks a big winning chance for rider Kavish Chowdhoory.
"He is a horse we have always had an opinion of," Pitman said.
"We are really happy with how he went fresh-up and he should go close."
Chowdhoory thinks Zakunda is ready to strike in race 5.
"Kavish is pretty confident he can finally break that maiden," Pitman said.
"He is another one that we have had a high opinion of. We even nominated him for the [New Zealand] Derby."
The Pitman-Chowdhoory combination will hope Swiss Eire breaks maiden ranks in race 3.
“He can be a bit frustrating at times. A couple of times he has had next-up written all over it then he hasn’t finished his races like we would have liked.
“If he gets a bit of luck, he should be ultra competitive.”
The Pitmans and Chowdhoory team up in race 8 with Elle Makfi who will be tried at 1600m for the first time.
“The step up to 1600m is a bit of a query with her. It was a 1200m last time,” Pitman said.
Confidential (race 2) led and won his last start at Riccarton over 1000m for apprentice Wesley Papier.
The 4kg-claiming apprentice will be instructed to do the same again over 1200m today.
“He will press forward and he has got 4kgs off his back, so that has got to be a big assist again,” Pitman said.
Dr Pepper (race 4) and Reliable Glow (race 8) look outside hopes for the stable today.