Coleman could be key to another highlight

Cambridge trainer Margaret Falconer is hoping jockey Michael Coleman can work the oracle again for her at Te Rapa tomorrow.

It was Coleman who provided Falconer with his biggest New Zealand win when guiding Dawn Till Dusk to victory in the 2002 Group III Cuddle Stakes at Trentham and now 10 years later he will endeavour to win the Group II $100,000 Waikato Times Gold Cup at Te Rapa on Boninsky.

Coleman has had a good association with Falconer’s small team over the years and has been aboard Boninsky in the past. And that knowledge of Boninsky makes Falconer happier than she was going into the horse’s last start, the Group II DHL Counties Cup.

Matt Cameron had been engaged for Boninsky and Falconer was pleased to have the top rider aboard, but Cameron was unable to make the horse’s weight and Falconer was forced to find a late replacement.

“Matt was three-quarters of a kilo overweight and though I was happy to put him on at that weight, the stipes wouldn’t let me under the rules,” said Falconer. “Mark Sweeney ended up riding him and nothing against Mark, but at that late notice he (or any new rider) hadn’t had time to do any homework on the Boninsky races.”

Boninsky settled midfield and, after being held up early in the run home, he finished solidly for sixth, a length from the winner, Jeu de Cartes.

“Mark had to wait for another horse to go by to get out and was a bit late getting into the clear,” said Falconer. “It was a good run and he finished just a half-length from Arcenciel (the runner-up).”

Falconer is keen for Boninsky to finish in the first four tomorrow to strengthen his chances of a tilt at the Auckland Cup in March. “He needs to get his rating up to get into the Cup,” said Falconer. “He’s also been entered for the City Of Auckland Cup.”

Falconer has no doubts about Boninsky’s stamina. “His mother is a half-suster to My Scotsgrey (NZ Cup winner) and that’s where he gets his staying from,” she said. “He’s a tough little fellow.”