Stablemates primed for Opunake Cup

Opunake Cup hope New York Minute and Lisa Allpress maintaining their fine record with victory at Tauranga recently.

Champion trainer Andrew Forsman has indicated the prospect of a repeat feature-race trifecta in tomorrow’s Listed Powerworx Opunake Cup (1400m) at New Plymouth.

Forsman and training partner Murray Baker produced New York Minute, Deals In Heels and Tomelilla for a stable one-two-three in last month’s Listed Tauranga Classic (1400m) and he told NZ Racing Desk all three were going into this weekend’s feature in prime order.

“All three galloped brilliantly this morning and I can’t fault any of them going into this one,” he said yesterday.

“It’s a bit frustrating they have to clash again, but this is the right race for them again. They are all going really well but there are a few decent ones in there against them again, too.”

Forsman said while all three were accomplished performers on winter going, just what type of track was presented at New Plymouth would probably determine the pick of the stable runners.

“The comments from the riders of Deals In Heels and Tomelilla after Tauranga was that they were just wanting looser ground,” said Forsman.

“New York Minute gets through those holding tracks better than the other two so track conditions will probably decide it.

“At the the top of the straight at Tauranga, Deals In Heels looked to have the race shot so for New York Minute to fight back and win the way she did you can’t take anything away from her.

“She races on the pace too, which is an advantage, but it also means she does a lot more work in running than the others.

“All three are going as well as they were going into Tauranga and I can’t split them on their work, though Deals In Heels does come in a couple of kilos better at the weights.”

TAB bookmakers opened New York Minute a $3.40 favourite ahead of Deals In Heels and Art Deco at $6.50, with Tomelilla a $9.20 fifth favourite.

Safely through tomorrow’s race Forsman will consider New York Minute for the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on August 18, with the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 1 a possibility.

“She’s a stakes winner now so her job is done and whatever we can pick up with her from here is a bonus,” he said.

The Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on August 4 is the likely aim for Deals In Heels, while Tomelilla could be freshened for spring racing on slightly better track conditions.

“We’re really excited about the team we’re taking to New Plymouth, not just the three in the Opunake Cup,” said Forsman.

“Beau Jeu is going well. Rodrico’s last run was better than it looked and he’ll be hard to beat and our three-year-olds Smiling Proud and Socially Excited are working well.

“We’re expecting Socially Excited to bounce back to something like his best form and we expect Pearlescence to go well in her Rating 65 race.”

– NZ Racing Desk