Pounamu decision for Muchea trainer

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The Alan Mathews-trained Pounamu could be set for the Detonator Stakes or the Pinjarra Classic after a win at Ascot on New Year’s Eve. Pictures: Anita McInnes

BEFORE heading off to Pinjarra Park today with Persian Princess, Muchea trainer Alan Mathews said he is tossing up whether to set Pounamu for an 1800m Ascot race or the Pinjarra Classic.

On Perth Cup Day at Ascot in the Tabtouch Race Replays Handicap (1500m) Pounamu settled in fourth place right from the early stages of the race.

About the 500m jockey Patrick Carbery put his foot on the accelerator and once into the home straight the grey gelding made his way to lead eventually beating the second-placed Settlers Creek by more than a length.

Mathews said Pounamu would have a spell for a couple of weeks.

If he decided to set the gelding for the Pinjarra Classic (1300m) on February 13 he wouldn’t have a start before that race.

But if he decided on the Detonator Stakes (1800m) at Ascot the day before the Pinjarra Classic the gelding would race the week before at Ascot.

Muchea trainer Alan Mathews’ partner Lesley Baker leads Pounamu into the winner’s circle at Ascot.
Muchea trainer Alan Mathews’ partner Lesley Baker leads Pounamu into the winner’s circle at Ascot.

At Pinjarra Park today (Saturday, January 7) Mathews has Persian Princess entered in the Pinjarra Chemmart Pharmacy Graduation Plate (1400m).

In a field of 13 Persian Princess and Carbery will start from barrier 11 while Gatting with jockey William Pike on board has drawn barrier 12.

Mathews said while Gatting having drawn barrier 12 might open the race up a bit having Pike on board might counter that.

He said the race would be difficult for Persian Princess to win but trainers couldn’t just keep horses at home and the race was a stepping stone for the filly to get some Saturday class exposure.

At this stage he was leaning towards sending her an 1800m fillies race on March 4 on the way to staying races for fillies such as the WA Oaks.

Lancelin trainer Ashley Maley has Jenabel entered in the same 1400m race at Pinjarra Park today.

Jenabel has drawn barrier nine.