Pitmans seek group 1 double

Savvy Coup and Chris Johnson are favourites to win tomorrow's New Zealand Oaks at Trentham after...
Savvy Coup and Chris Johnson are favourites to win tomorrow's New Zealand Oaks at Trentham after winning the Lowland Stakes at Hastings. PHOTO: RACE IMAGES PETER RUBERY
Yaldhurst trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman are seeking a double delight with Savvy Coup in tomorrow's group 1 New Zealand Oaks at Trentham.

The 3yr-old filly gives them a chance of bagging their second major Trentham Trophy this season and complete the second leg of a special triple crown.

The horse can also book a trip to the rich Sydney Championships with a good run the race.

If she can win, punters will cheer just as loudly as the Pitmans, unlike when Enzo's Lad won the group 1 Telegraph earlier this year at long odds.

Savvy Coup will line up as the favourite for the $400,000 feature on the back of her smart win in the group 3 Lowland Stakes at the beginning of the month.

"She's stayed at Trentham all the way through and been working very well on the course proper so it's like her home track," Michael Pitman said.

"We've been really happy with her. She won the Lowland [2100m] in her first run for five weeks and first over ground."

Savvy Coup has an even bigger target to chase after tomorrow's 2400m feature. The Pitman stable thinks enough of their filly to target her at the Australian Oaks.

The last two winners of the Australian classic have come through the Lowland Stakes and New Zealand Oaks and have also been Kiwis.

"History shows the Lowland to be a very good race and there are direct flights out of Christchurch to Sydney, and she's booked to go on April 4."

"Both Bonneval and Sophia Rosa ran in the Lowland Stakes, the Oaks here and then won the Australian Oaks. It's the right way to go."

Tony Pike is hoping his filly, Treasure, can show her best after being denied clear air behind Savvy Coup in the Lowland.

Treasure has been an $8 second-equal favourite with Contessa Vanessa.

"Savvy Coup was brilliant that day, but there were a few hard-luck stories behind her," Pike said.

"Things didn't go to plan at Hawke's Bay for Treasure. She needs to get out and rolling and the big, roomy track at Trentham will suit her. She's ticking along nicely and we've always had a very high opinion of her."

Pike also has Caricature, an $18 chance who is taking on New Zealand's premier 3yr-old fillies in just her fifth start.

Like her stablemate, Caricature was also unlucky in the Lowland.

"At Hawke's Bay she was another to get held up," Pike said.

"It's a pretty even field and we've got two good chances."

Should Savvy Coup fail in her Trentham bid it could be left to Enzo's Lad to again deliver the Pitman stable big-race riches.

The horse is again a Trentham outsider, rated at $21 for the listed Lightning Handicap.

The race is headed by Ferrando and Heroic Valour.

The Pitman stable also has Son Of Maher in the race.


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