Cornege now relying on Pop Star

Fred Cornege leading Pop Star Princess (Lynsey Satherley), who will be chasing further success at Pukekohe tomorrow.

Cambridge trainer Fred Cornege is hoping his luck holds with a switch in plans for his smart sprinter Pop Star Princess tomorrow.

Cornege was in the winner’s enclosure at Te Rapa last Sunday when successful with De Konig and at Pukekohe tomorrow his attention will be on stablemate Pop Star Princess in the Haunui Farm 1400.

‘’It was tempting to put her in the Concorde, but it’s a year too early for her so she’s in the 1400m at Pukekohe instead,’’ Cornege said. ‘’She’s really thriving.”

While the $70,000 Gr.3 Preferment @ Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap (1200m) has attracted a strong field including the Gr.1 Sistema Railway principals Santa Monica and Princess Kereru, Pop Star Princess does come up against some smart gallopers in her Pukekohe assignment, which is headed by the highly rated Demonetization.

However, she has a weight advantage, slipping in on 54.5kg, and from barrier eight she might have to work a bit early but should be in contention from the outset.

A winner of three of her 12 starts and placed on four occasions, the four-year-old daughter of Makfi was stakes placed when third to Bostonian and Santa Monica in the Listed Haunui Farm Counties Bowl (1100m) on the Pukekohe course a couple of months ago.

She showed her readiness for tomorrow’s event when winning at the Cambridge trials earlier this month, defeating Cyber Attack and Gr.1 performer Hiflyer.

Pop Star Princess will be ridden as usual by Lynsey Satherley, who was also aboard De Konig in his win last Sunday.

Thanks to a well-rated ride by Lynsey Satherley, De Konig tasted success again last Sunday.

De Konig, a four-year-old by Niagara, had cleared maiden ranks at Te Rapa 13 months ago and had to settle for two placings in seven further starts going into last weekend’s rating 65 2100m contest.

He had fought creditably for fifths at Te Rapa and Matamata over ground and Satherley took advantage of his handy draw (three) last Sunday, urging him along in the initial stages to take the lead.

De Konig was travelling well in front and Satherley increased the tempo across the top then kicked him clear on the turn.

In a well-rated ride, Satherley kept De Konig going strongly and at the winning post he was still travelling comfortably, a length and a half clear of the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Konstantina.

“He’s been a bit of an idiot at times,’’ Satherley said. ‘’I thought I’d bustle him out of the gates and get him there like he did when he won here.

“Having no horses around him helped. He can be a bit gun-shy going through them.’’

De Konig’s win was a tonic for one of his owners who has been suffering ill-health, but was able to be on course for the success.

De Konig is raced by Cornege and his wife, Lindsay, along with Judith Buckeridge, Iriaka Pearson, Helen Caseley, Luci Firth and Stephanie Buckeridge.

“I actually owe this horse an apology because I called him dumb last time,’’ Cornege said. ‘’He was quite clever today.’’