Trials cancellation upsets plans

Pump Up The Volume, pictured racing to victory at Awapuni last June, is on track for the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup.

Pump Up The Volume, pictured racing to victory at Awapuni last June, is on track for the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup.

Cambridge trainer Ralph Manning has been forced to alter the New Zealand Cup build-up for stablemates Pump Up The Volume and In A Minute.

Manning had planned to use the Te Teko trials, scheduled for yesterday, as part of the preparation for both horses, but the abandonment of the heats because of heavy rain in the area has sent him scouting through the programme booklet for alternative hit-outs.

“They were all set to go to the trials and with Pump Up The Volume the plan was to then take him down for the Egmont Cup,” said Manning. “Now he might have to go straight into the Egmont Cup, but that won’t worry him too much. He can cope with it.”

The $35,000 Kaponga Hotel Egmont Cup (2100m) is run at Hawera on Saturday week, five weeks before the big mission, the Gr.3 $250,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Cup (3200m) at Riccarton.

Pump Up The Volume, an eight-year-old son of Savabeel, has been freshened since he ran third to fellow Cambridge galloper Jochen Rindt over 2100 metres at Te Rapa on August 13. A start earlier he had been runner-up to the same horse in the Listed Woods Contracting Taumarunui Gold Cup at Rotorua.

A winner of six races and over $200,000 in prizemoney, Pump Up The Volume has won on tracks ranging from dead to heavy and Manning believes the NZ Cup is an ideal target for him.

“He’s won over 3200 metres (at Trentham in December 2013 on a dead4 track) and he’ll just keep going,” said Manning, who shares in the ownership of Pump Up The Volume with Tony Coombe.

Manning knows what is needed to win the New Zealand Cup, having prepared Oak Vue to take the feature in 1986 and Laud Peregrine in 1997 with Grant Cooksley and Lee Tiley (then Rutherford) being the respective jockeys.

With that success in mind, he has good cause to believe In A Minute is also a prime prospect for the 3200-metre event.

In A Minute is well down in the ratings (69) and has had his setbacks, but his recent form suggests he would be worthy of the trip to Riccarton.

“He broke his pelvis a couple of years ago and after a good long break he’s come back well,” said Manning. “He’s been racing well.”

Second-up this campaign he was runner-up over 1600 metres at Awapuni then won over 2060 at Wanganui and over 2100 at Awapuni. He followed up with a fourth at Avondale on July 29 and was then freshened.

“I gave him two weeks off and he’s done well,” said Manning. “With the Te Teko trials off, he’ll probably go to Matamata for a Rating 75 2000 metres on Saturday week.

“Even though he’ll blow out, it’ll get him ready for Riccarton. I want to get him to the New Zealand Cup on his fourth run. He usually goes best then.”

A winner of four of his 18 starts and placed on a further six occasions, In A Minute showed much promise as a three-year-old and was nominated for the NZ Derby. Though he didn’t get to contest the classic he did manage two wins and three placings in the lead-up.