Weight concern for SI mare

Leah Hemi celebrates as she guides Dee And Gee to victory over Kaharau and Gorbachev in the  New...
Leah Hemi celebrates as she guides Dee And Gee to victory in the New Zealand Cup at Riccarton. PHOTOS: RACE IMAGES
Leading South Island stayer Dee And Gee will need to be at the top of her game to score a cups double in today’s Wellington Cup.

The Peter Corbett and Terrill Charles-trained mare will need to carry 59kg and overcome barrier 18 to add the Trentham feature to her New Zealand Cup win in November.

Emotions ran high after Dee And Gee’s New Zealand Cup victory at Riccarton, as Charles has been battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Corbett admitted Dee And Gee’s task in today’s $250,000 race was a big one.

"The only thing we’ve got to worry about is the weight she’s carrying," the trainer told NZ Racing Desk.

"She’s got to carry 59kg and she’s not a big mare, though she is tough.

"She did carry 59kg when she ran second in the Metropolitan the start before she won the New Zealand Cup and she was only beaten a nose, so she has proven she can carry it — but it’s still a big ask."

Dee And Gee hit the line strongly at her last start when sixth behind fellow South Island galloper, Camino Rocosso, in his epic Trentham Stakes win.

"We were happy with her run last Saturday. She ran through the line pretty well," Corbett said.

Gorbachev will clash with Dee And Gee again today. He ran third to her in the New Zealand Cup.

The North Islander also carries 59kg, meaning he does not concede the same 1kg weight advantage to Dee And Gee that he did at Riccarton.

Dee And Gee ($10) and Gorbachev ($8) have been rated just behind the top three favourites. Justamaiz ($5.50) holds favouritism for the 3200m feautre ahead of The Good Fight ($6) and Cead Mile Failte ($6.50).

Hopes are high that well-travelled galloper Enzo’s Lad, who contests the Telegraph, can make it three consecutive wins in the group 1 race, which is now weight-for-age.

The Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained sprinter enters the race this year under much different circumstances.

In previous seasons, Enzo’s Lad has raced in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.

"He's been hanging on to a winter coat, which sounds strange given we are in the middle of summer," Michael Pitman told NZ Racing Desk.

"But when we got to England he had grown a winter coat leading into their summer, so we had to clip him."

‘‘While he has been hanging on to his winter coat, I have seen a lot of improvement in the last fortnight.’’

Enzo’s Lad ran last in the Hazlett Stakes at Wingatui

on Boxing Day but before that was third in a minor race at Riccarton.

The 7yr-old’s stablemate, Sensei, has left him in his wake in two of his three starts this campaign.

Sensei goes into the Telegraph after racing wide throughout and running third in the Hazlett.

Sensei was third in last year’s Telegraph.


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