Phelan’s staying duo in good heart for Cup

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  • July 28, 2023
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By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Shaun Phelan is expecting improved showings from his lightweight prospects in the main event on the Te Rapa card on Saturday.

The Cambridge trainer holds a decent hand in the Taumarunui RSA Gold Cup (2200m) with Enchanted Elle and Pacheco to go head-to-head and finds it difficult to split the pair.

At the other end of the experience scale, Phelan has also handed teenager Hayley Hassman an in-form debut ride when she teams up with lightly tried three-year-old Hill Of Kings in the Katie Walker Real Estate (2100m).

In the feature contest, Enchanted Elle and Pacheco will renew their rivalry after they were unplaced when they clashed in the Whangarei Gold Cup (2100m).

“They were both in quite a competitive race at Ruakaka last time and Enchanted Elle just got caught wide and had to be used up,” Phelan said.

“She slips back into this well with 55kg and will drop down to 51kg with (apprentice) Jess Allen on her.

“She’s not a very big mare and the claim is going to help her a lot. She will have a freshen-up after this and then aim at some spring racing.”

The daughter of Jakkalberry is also a proven force at Te Rapa with a hat-trick of staying wins on the course last year, while Makfi’s son Pacheco will strip a lot fitter on Saturday.

His fortunes will be guided by apprentice Elen Nicholas, who successfully combined with the five-year-old at Pukekohe Park three runs back.

“Pacheco has improved a lot since his last run and I think he’s going to be a sneaky chance with a lightweight (52.2kg) as well,” Phelan said.

“He battled on well at Ruakaka and had a good blow afterwards and Elen gets on well with him.”

Stablemate Hill Of Kings has been in good touch this preparation with a maiden victory and two placings and last time out the Time Test gelding finished fifth in age group company at Ruakaka.

“He had a freshen before his last run at Ruakaka and was another to have a good blow and he didn’t give it away,” Phelan said.

“Hayley works for us and it will be her first ride as an amateur and she’s looking at becoming an apprentice next year.

“The only thing that worries me is his topweight (69kg), which is a bit of an ask and Hayley is only about 53kg so he’s got to carry a bit of dead weight, but he is tough.”

Phelan will also run Hit The Road Jack in the Bob & Colleen Donaldson Memorial (1400m).

“Originally, I was going to give him a track gallop and then I saw the noms so I thought he may as well go around for some prizemoney,” he said.

Hit The Road Jack’s main target is the Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on August 5.

“He does need a hit-out because he’s a bit fresh and his ideal trip is 1600m on a wet track,” Phelan said. ­– LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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