Mathews continues Perth Cup plan for Pounamu

Push To Pass and jockey Alan Kennedy won for trainer Ashely Maley in the last race on Railway Stakes Day at Ascot. Picture: Anita McInnes

MUCHEA trainer Alan Mathews is continuing with his Perth Cup plan for Pounamu while Lancelin trainer Ashley Maley is still to decide what is next for two of his gallopers after Railway Stakes Day.

Maley thought he had two good chances at Ascot on Saturday, November 25 but Red Publisher with jockey Peter Hall on board just couldn’t hold off Get Over It in the Amelia Park Handicap (1200m).

He had better luck with Push To Pass in the New Year’s Day Handicap (1600m) when the grey beat Damian Oliver and the Cliff Green-trained Mosseratti.

After the race Maley said he had been very confident Push To Pass could win.

“His last run in Geraldton was a really good run,’’ he said.

Jockey Alan Kennedy said he had been less confident.

“The barrier was a bit sticky,’’ he said.

“I wanted to go back and ride him cold.

“But Ashley said ‘No go forward and try and get him in somewhere’ and lucky I listened.’’

Kennedy, who said he followed Oliver most of the race, wasn’t really confident until 250m out when Push To Pass knuckled down and hit the line really hard.

On Monday Mathews said Pounamu was in a grass paddock enjoying two days off before starting work again on Tuesday morning.

In the Railway Stakes (1600m) Pounamu who started from barrier 11 and carried 53kg came from well back to finish sixth in a field of 16.

Mathews said Pounamu was probably never going to win on Saturday but if he hadn’t been held up he would have been a length closer and maybe claimed third or fourth.

If everything goes to plan Pounamu will step up to an 1800m race in a fortnight, followed by a 2000-2100m race two weeks after that and then on to the Perth Cup.