Trust In You preparing for Cup tilt

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  • February 29, 2024
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By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Promising stayer Trust In You will have his second look at Ellerslie on Saturday before he returns to the Auckland track seven days later for the biggest test of his career, the Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m).

The five-year-old gelding has been in fine form, winning three of his last eight starts, including the Dunstan Horsefeeds Stayers’ Championship Final (2400m) at Pukekohe on Boxing Day and the Gr.3 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2400m) at the same track on New Year’s Day.

The son of Sweynesse was then freshened before running sixth in the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie earlier this month.

Trainers Bruce Wallace and Grant Cooksley were pleased with his fresh-up performance and believe Saturday’s Vertical Logistics Nathans Memorial (2200m) will top him off nicely for his two-mile assignment.

“It was a really good run (in the Avondale Cup),” Cooksley said. “He hadn’t raced in about seven weeks, and he only got beaten by two lengths when he came to the end of it a little bit towards the end.

“He needs another run, so he will go around Saturday and he should be spot on for the Cup. Hopefully he is not too far away on Saturday, he has got a fair bit of weight (60kg) for him.”

While Trust In You hasn’t been tested over further than 2400m, Cooksley doesn’t believe the 3200m of the Auckland Cup will be a concern for his charge.

“I don’t think it will be, but you never know until you run it,” he said. “The way he races, he is quite a relaxed horse, he should go well in that.”

Cooksley is also looking forward to lining up evergreen galloper Gino Severini in the inaugural running of the $350,000 Rangitoto Classic (1500m), an innovation race open to horses in the care of trainers outside of the top 10 in prizemoney as at 30 November, 2023.

The 10-year-old gelding has been unplaced in his three starts since winning the Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) last November, but Cooksley said he has shown plenty of improvement since his last run at Ellerslie a fortnight ago.

“It is good prizemoney and it is great to have a runner in the race,” Cooksley said. “He has improved a lot from his last run, he had a little bit of a break, and he is very well. He has got a nice draw (2) so he should be there somewhere.”

Stakes assignments could await Gino Severini following the weekend if he returns to form.

“There are a couple of weight-for-age races for him, but we will just see how he comes through this one,” Cooksley said.

The Byerley Park barn will also be represented by last start winner Son Of Sun in the SkyCity Horizon 1600.

“A mile should suit him and he has a nice draw (6), so he should be there somewhere,” Cooksley said. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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