Guns At Five ready to fire again

Chris Wood has a feature Cup in mind for Guns At Five, who will contest the Crombie Lockwood Nathans Memorial at Ellerslie tomorrow.

The Nathans is the last chance for lightweights to guarantee a start in the Group I $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup at Ellerslie next Wednesday and three of the lineup are entered for the 3200-metre feature. But the Auckland Cup was never a consideration for Guns At Five.

“He came back to me at the end of October and he had lost quite a bit of condition when he was in Aussie so it took a while to get him right again,” said Wood. “I didn’t even consider the late payment of $10,000 for the Auckland Cup (due on February 5). He just wasn’t going to be ready.”

But one feature event Guns At Five will be ready for is the Group III $70,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup at Hastings on April 20.
“I’ll have to talk it over with the owner first, but that’s a race I’m looking at,” said Wood.

Guns At Five has had three starts since returning to the Wood stable and he has improved with each outing, culminating with a runaway win in the Affco NZ Ltd Wairoa Cup (2100m) on February 16. He was ridden that day by Sam Collett and scored by three and a quarter lengths.

“Apparently he ran a New Zealand record in the Wairoa Cup, but because it was hand-timed it couldn’t be officially recognised,” said Wood.

Matt Cameron takes over the reins on Guns At Five tomorrow as he attempts to register his seventh win. He ran sixth in last year’s Nathans Memorial before winning the Listed Dixon and Dunlop NZ St Leger at Trentham.