Oops, punters upset by Tommy

Oops Tommy (inner) holding out Boxachocolates to record his second Hastings win today.

Oops Tommy (inner) holding out Boxachocolates to record his second Hastings win today.

Cambridge dual code horseman Todd Mitchell carried on his winning mood from last night in Auckland when saddling up Oops Tommy for an upset win at Hastings today.

Mitchell rounded off the Alexandra Park meeting in style when driving the hot favourite C K Spur to victory for the Dickie stable, then today he trekked to Hastings where his stable was successfully represented by Oops Tommy in the Stella Artois 1400.

Oops Tommy’s win was a third reason for a Mitchell celebration within the last four days. It all started when Mitchell celebrated his 45th birthday last Wednesday.

Whereas Mitchell was the punters’ pal after winning with C K Spur at cramped odds, he was cheered on by far fewer punters when Oops Tommy triumphed at odds of better than 23/1. However, Mitchell wasn’t surprised by the four-year-old’s win.

Oops Tommy cleared maiden ranks in style over 1400 metres at Hastings on July 2 and Mitchell takes the blame for him not doing better in his next two starts, even though the two performances resulted in a fifth to the then-unbeaten Wooden Edge at Te Rapa and a fourth to No Need at Rotorua.

“After he won here I probably shouldn’t have started him the next two times on heavy tracks,” said Mitchell after today’s win. “It might have got to the bottom of him.

“I freshened him up, gave him a couple of weeks in the paddock, and came here today hoping he would run in the first five or six to come back here for a Rating 65 mile on the last day.”

Oops Tommy put paid to that last day plan when sticking to his guns strongly over the final stages to win by a half head from Boxachocolates after tracking the leader, Animator, for much of the journey.

“Michael (Coleman) rode him beautifully,” said Mitchell, who trains 26 horses (18 standardbreds and eight thoroughbreds) on his Tauwhare property. “He didn’t push him hard early and slid him up outside the leader.”

Coleman was having his second ride on Oops Tommy, having been aboard in the horse’s second start when runner-up at Te Aroha last June.

“He got stuck out for a bit and was trucking a bit early,” said Coleman. “I thought Jason (Collett on Boxachocolates) had me on the outside, but he stuck his big head out and won well.”

Oops Tommy has now recorded two wins and two placings from six starts, but Mitchell is uncertain how much longer he will train the son of Thewayyouare. “The owners are talking of taking him to Hong Kong,” said Mitchell.