Orepuki Lad lines up southern cup hat trick

Orepuki Lad could add a third cup win to his tally today.PHOTO: WILD RANGE PHOTOGRAPHY
Orepuki Lad could add a third cup win to his tally today.PHOTO: WILD RANGE PHOTOGRAPHY
Southern staying star Orepuki Lad will attempt seal a triple crown of cup victories on his home track today.

The Graham and Michael Eade-trained Orepuki Lad will attempt to add the Riverton Cup to his recent Dunedin Gold Cup and Invercargill Gold Cup wins.

Orepuki Lad warmed up for today's 2147m listed feature with a fifth placing in the Hororata Gold Cup over 1800m at Riccarton last month.

"It was a very good run last start," Graham said.

"It was only 1800m and there were some very good horses in there and he still ran fifth and wasn't far off the winner.

"The longer it gets, the better for him."

Eade hoped Orepuki Lad's Riccarton hit-out has him primed to run a big race in his hometown cup.

The only concern the trainer has is the race was almost a month ago.

"The only problem I have got is that he hasn't had a run for a month. But I did give him a trial, so hopefully that was enough. He is very good and very well in himself."

Northern rider Leah Hemi will reunite with Orepuki Lad today.

She was aboard the 5yr-old in his Dunedin Gold Cup win.

Hemi will jump Orepuki Lad from the sometimes tricky barrier 1.

That could prove to be a troublesome draw if the front-runner is crossed at the start.

"He won't get everything his own way. There are two or three leaders there and it's going to be tough enough."

Orepuki Lad's 53.5kg gives him a 6.5kg advantage over Otago favourite Tommy Tucker.

The Brian and Shane Anderton-trained veteran goes into today's race after running a big race for fifth after racing wide in the group 3 Canterbury Gold Cup.

Tommy Tucker is one of number of horses that have strong claims in today's event.

The 10yr-old was rated the fourth favourite for the race at $10 when bookmakers opened their market for the Riverton Cup.

Orepuki opened a $3.80 favourite ahead of Shakti and Shezatoucha, who were at $8.

Shezatoucha's stablemate, Kiwi Ida, heads the field for the Francolin Stakes at Riverton today.

The John and Karen Parsons-trained mare had her first start since February when running a good fourth behind He Kin Fly at Riccarton last weekend.

Kiwi Ida clashes with Elfee, Flying Sardine and Beneficial in the 1400m feature.

The Eade stable start their consistent sprinter Sentient today's 1200m open handicap.

"Sentient, he's a bit of a bridesmaid," Eade said.

Sentient clashes with Johnny Jones, Finbarr and Irish Excuse in his first start in open company.

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