Take two for Oamaru

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  • July 26, 2023
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By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

It will be take two for southern trainers when they head to Oamaru on Wednesday for their postponed Oamaru Cup meeting.

Originally scheduled for Sunday, the meeting was postponed until later in the week due to a severe weather system forecast to hit the region.

Riverton trainer Stephen Blair-Edie isn’t concerned about the delay and he is looking forward to heading north to the mid-week meeting with a nine-strong team.

“I don’t know how deep it is, but we will be there, and we will be trying,” he said.

Leading his charge will be last start winner The Good Shepherd, who will appreciate the Heavy10 track conditions when he lines-up in the Easymade Marmalade LTD (1200m).

“He was weighted (54kg) very well last start and I have learnt a wee bit more about him,” Blair-Edie said.

“I had always thought with him being out of a Pins mare he would prefer the good tracks, but as it has turned out, he is better on rain-affected ground.”

The son of Power has accrued a handy record of three wins and five placings from 12 starts on Heavy ground and his trainer is hoping he can add to his burgeoning record this week where he will carry 54kg once more from barrier five, with Gosen Jogoo aboard.

While it will be a month between runs for the rising six-year-old, Blair-Edie said he has kept him up to the mark at home.

“He won’t really be fresh-up because he has been doing 5000m a day up and down the hills at home,” he said.

“My horses work very hard and they have been getting around in wet ground.

“To go well in the mud, I think you have got to train in the mud, and they are certainly doing that.”

The Good Shepherd has been installed a $4.80 favourite for the race ahead of Emanon and Benaud at $5.

In the race prior, stablemate Anafternoondelight is also favoured with the TAB to take out the Stephen Heffernan Property Brokers Maiden (1200m), quoting him at a winning price of $3.30.

While the Highly Recommended mare has placed on Heavy ground before, Blair-Edie is unsure how his mare will perform on the surface this week and believes she may be better kept for later in the year.

“She is probably more of a summer horse, but we will just see how we go with her,” he said.

Blair will also target the meeting’s feature, the Crombie & Price Oamaru Cup (1600m) with Choux In and Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m) hopeful The Tui Toiler.

“With The Tui Toiler, I am not sure whether he can handle the wet going. He had a wall of horses in front of him at Riccarton, so he couldn’t get through,” Blair-Edie said.

“I am hoping to get some points for the Winter Cup for him.

“The blinkers are back on. He has been through a few ups and downs with the stipes, but he is a very good horse.

“He led all the way in a Cup field at Riverton in an (rating) 88 when he was only a 63 horse. We are hoping he will do well tomorrow.

“And Choux In has been honest all season.”

Blair-Edie will also line-up Choux Maker in the Thank You for Your Support Oamaru And Kurow Harness Clubs (1200m), last start winner Bush Mills Billy in the Glenmoa Farms LTD River Plate Trophy (1200m), Claudius Maximus in the Drummond and Etheridge (1200m), and Skyrocketsinflight in the Dave Allan Memorial (2200m).

“Choux Maker is getting more confident with more experience. We have got the side winkers on him tomorrow, so he won’t look around as much. He is a strong horse,” Blair-Edie said.

“Bush Mills Billy is a genuine wet-tracker and that is his preferred distance. He could be a place chance.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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