Rider sought for Cup hopeful

Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan has yet to confirm a jockey for her lightweight Pacific Jewellers Wellington Cup candidate Savanah Rush.

Savanah Rush produced a good dress rehearsal for the Group II $200,000 Trentham feature when easily winning the Pegasus Equine 2100 at Ellerslie yesterday. Ridden by Jason Waddell, she scored by two and a quarter lengths from another local Wellington Cup hopeful Miss Isle.

Savanah Rush had a rating of 88 going into yesterday’s race and Brennan is hoping she will get enough points from that win to sneak in the Cup, in which she has just 52kg.

“It’s hard finding a suitable lightweight rider,” she said. “I’ve had a couple of offers, but nothing has been confirmed yet.”
Adding to the merit of Savanah Rush’s performance yesterday was the fact her saddle slipped early in the race.

“I think it happened just after they jumped,” said Brennan. “She did well to win and Jason rode her well. I told him to let her rip with 800 metres to go and make it a real staying test.”

Lauren Brennan has switched plans with Savanah Rush in a bid to earn valuable rating points to contest the Pacific Jewellers Wellington Cup at Trentham later this month. Savanah Rush has not been successful below 2000 metres and two of her seven wins have been over 2400, the distance of the Wellington Cup.

Brennan’s decision to run Savanah Rush at Ellerslie yesterday was a late one after she had originally planned to start her in the Listed Gallagher Group Marton Cup at Awapuni. She switched to Ellerslie when the barrier draws came out for both events.
She drew wide in the Marton Cup and Brennan didn’t want a repeat of the result in the City Of Auckland.

“She drew 17 of 18 and was three-wide without cover then nine-wide on the turn,” recalled Brennan. “She had no chance from there.”

Savanah Rush was 13th in the Lindauer City of Auckland Cup, but her leadup form consisted of wins at Te Rapa and Pukekohe. In the Te Rapa event she dug deep on her reserves of energy to score narrowly over 2100 metres and she produced a similar effort when scoring over 2400 at Pukekohe.