Singapore feature on Pitman's radar Sat, 28 Jan 2012
Michael Pitman’s thoughts immediately turned offshore after his model professional El Chico again showed the steely side of his nature to claim the Listed Speight’s Timaru Stakes on his home track this afternoon.
The Riccarton seven-year-old gave weight and beating to his rivals in the feature event on the card when he came back off the canvas to down his lightweight challengers Croix du Sud and Hayley Rose.
“I’m going to nominate him for the KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore,” Pitman said. “It’s been my life ambition to take a good horse overseas and I didn’t get there with Coup Align, but I might with this one.
“He’s won nine races at Riccarton now and not many horses win that many on a metropolitan track and four times he’s broken 1.22 for 1400 metres.”
Under 59kg, El Chico was given a perfect run in the trail by rider Jamie Bullard before they shouldered into the clear after straightening to hit the front.
The topweight, who had run a terrific third in the Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap at his previous appearance, was then headed by Croix du Sud, who was in receipt of six kilos, before he dug deep under pressure to claw his way back for a half-neck winning margin.
El Chico’s victory completed another productive day for Pitman on his home track after saddling Venetian Raider and Eleanor Coup to win earlier events.
He pulled the right rein when he opted to run Eleanor Coup in the Curraghmore Stud Dunedin Gold Cup Trial in preference to an easier Rating 75 staying event.
His confidence in the family-owned mare was repaid when she outstayed Kiwi Hussler, who enjoyed an easy time with an unchallenged lead, for the fifth victory of her career to earn a shot at next Saturday’s Listed Dunedin Casino Gold Cup.