Cup distance a question for Pounamu

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Earlier this month Pounamu and jockey Patrick Carbery won the Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m). Picture: Anita McInnes

CAN Pounamu in his first effort at 2400m carry 59kg and still win the Tabtouch Perth Cup at Ascot on New Year’s Day?

Pounamu likes to get into his own zone so don’t be surprised if just before the cup you see the grey and his jockey Patrick Carbery off on their own while the gelding takes a  moment to have a good look around.

Trainer Alan Mathews of Muchea said Pounamu, who does a lot of slow work in the heavy sand, also likes a bit of glamour and was happy to show off in a recent photoshoot.

Mathews said the two favourites – Trap For Fools and Material Man – were the obvious challengers to Pounamu in the cup but that none of the other starters in the Group 2 race could be disregarded either.

Mathews said he expected Trap For Fools, who will carry 54.5kg, to lead and for Material Man (56.5kg) to try and settle in the first four or five runners.

Trap For Fools has drawn barrier four and Material Man barrier three while Pounamu will start from barrier eight.

“We’ll aim to be a length or two behind so midfield rather than further back,’’ he said.

“The ones that lead (like Trap For Fools) like to get the others off the bit and instead of being chased from about 600m they are chased from 1000m.

“Whereas we like to sit up and sprint and get over the top.’’

He said Carbery had ridden the horse about 40 times and it was his job to ensure Pounamu was not ridden two far out of his comfort zone.

But things could always change in a race and there was always an element of luck involved.

Mathews said he had done everything he could do to get Pounamu ready for the cup and the horse had done everything right and had been given top weight as he’d been winning races.

On December 23 Pounamu while carrying 59kg won the weight-for-age Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m).

Carrying the same weight the Authorized and Tangiwai gelding won the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 9.

Prior to that he won the Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on November 4 while carrying 3kg less.

In between the Asian Beau Stakes and the Kingston Town Classic he was sixth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).