Mathews has Caulfield or Melbourne cup starts in mind

Trainer Alan Mathews of Muchea says Pounamu’s owners want him to race in Melbourne this spring.

POUNAMU’S owners want him to race in over east so the goals of  either the Caulfield Cup (2400m) or the Melbourne Cup (3200m) are being considered.

Trainer Alan Mathews of Muchea said everything would have to go really well for Pounamu to get to either race but there were few races suitable for him in Perth in spring now especially as he seemed to be wanting more distance.

Mathews said there had been some encouragement from Victoria Racing including their chief handicapper Greg Carpenter for Pounamu to head east.

He said at this stage Pounamu had already won enough races to qualify for entry for either race but sometimes entry requirements could change depending on how many international horses entered.

Last year the Authorised and Tangiwai gelding was runner up in the Perth Cup (2400m) behind Material Man on New Year’s Day after wins in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) and the Kingston Town Classic (1800m).

On Saturday, June 16 Pounamu was third in the Hyperion Stakes (1600m) behind Material Man and Great Shot.

Mathews said Pounamu still looked a bit chubby and seemed to prefer Ascot to Belmont.

On Saturday, June 2 Pounamu finished third in the Belmont Sprint (1400m).

Mathews said Pounamu’s next immediate goal was the Strickland Stakes (2000m) in a fortnight.

Send My Love another horse from Mathews’ stable won the Edda Unewisse Handicap (1600m) on Saturday, June 16.

Mathews said it was a very good effort by Send My Love but predicted she would be even better in 12 months.

Jockey Patrick Carbery and Send My Love after winning the Edda Unewisse Handicap (1600m) at Belmont on June 16. Picture Anita McInnes
Jockey Patrick Carbery and Send My Love after winning the Edda Unewisse Handicap (1600m) at Belmont on June 16. Picture Anita McInnes

“But it’s just nice that she can get a Saturday win on the board and hopefully progress,’’ he said.

“I thought at the furlong she was in a little bit of strife when that other horse loomed up outside her but once Paddy got a bit dinkum she knuckled down and did a good job.’’

They had added bubble cheekers to her gear, which he said he didn’t like putting on young horses, as she had laid in during her previous race.

He said Send My Love would next start in the Belmont Oaks, in an effort to start winning some black-type races, which would eventually add to her value as a broodmare once she finished racing.

On Saturday, Pearl Trade, who was slow to get out of the barriers was a disappointing fourth in the Tabtouch Handicap (1000m).

“She doesn’t come out of the barriers the best but if you rev her up she over races.’’

Apprentice jockey Emma Stent and Max Almighty were second in the Furphy Handicap (1200m).