Pertab looking to give McCullum something to cheer about

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  • July 18, 2023
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England’s Test Cricket Coach Brendon McCullum hasn’t had a lot to cheer about over the last month, but trainer Kurtis Pertab is hoping to change that on Wednesday.

Stokes, a three-year-old gelding bred and owned by McCullum, is set to make his debut at Cambridge’s synthetic meeting for the Matamata horseman and he is hopeful of a positive result.

“Hopefully we can get a win for him, it is a bit of pressure for a maidener,” Pertab said.

Stokes has won his last two trials and Pertab is confident he can feature in the finish if he brings that form to raceday.

“He has trained on well from his trials, I couldn’t be happier with him,” Pertab said of the gelding named after England Test Captain Ben Stokes.

“It will just come down to raceday experience and whether he is sharp enough against raceday pressure.

“His trials have been good, so he should go alright.”

Later on the card, Pertab will line-up Papenhuyzen in the Cambridge Equine Hospital 970.

“He is just resuming, but he should go a bold race,” he said.

With 11 wins to his name this season from 28 starts, including a victory at stakes level, Pertab has been enjoying a standout season.

“It’s been one to remember. It is the first season I have had a decent amount to the races and I couldn’t be any happier,” he said.

“Hopefully it continues into the new season. I think we have got enough quality horses around us for that to happen.

“We will be fairly quiet for the last month (of the season). We will stick it out and we have some nice rising two-year-olds coming through and a few of the other team will probably be trialling in the last week of July to get ready for the spring.”

Off the back of his success this season, Pertab has fielded a lot of enquiries to join his barn and he is excited for the future.

“There are a lot of positive things being said and a lot of positivity from new clients wanting to come onboard, it has been great,” he said.

“I was buying for myself and slowly I have started buying for clients and putting a few syndicates together.

“Now that there are a few more people coming onboard, it opens those doors to possibly buy more horses at the sales.”

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