Pounamu is no Winx but he’s doing fine

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The Alan Mathews-trained Pounamu and jockey Patrick Carbery nail the favourite Variation in the Asian Beau Stakes at Ascot. Picture: Simon Merritt/Western Racepix.

MUCHEA trainer Alan Mathews says when he arrived in WA Pounamu had the reputation of being fifth to Winx.

There is no disgrace in that as there have been a few horses who’ve done that over the years.

But Pounamu was still to win a race.

His first win was a $15,000 midweek race at Ascot in January last year.

In February this year he won the $100,000 Detonator Stakes (1800m).

Now his win in the $150,000 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on Saturday, November 4 at Ascot has secured the grey gelding a start in the $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 25.

On Sunday Mathews said Pounamu had pulled up fine after the race and would spend a few days in a grass paddock.

Then it would be back to doing what they had been doing in the lead up to Saturday’s race and keeping Pounamu in a happy place.

In preparation for the Railway Stakes in three weeks times he said Pounamu would also be taken for a couple of gallops on the grass.

After the race on Saturday Mathews said Pounamu had raced fairly well last summer.

He said they had headed into winter knowing the horse needed a few starts but weight-for-age did not suit him.

To prepare the horse he had done a lot of slow work at home – leg work day-in and day-out and not a lot of galloping.

Starting in the Asian Beau Stakes had meant putting all their eggs in one basket and either the horse showed up and got into the Railway Stakes or they would have had to head down a different track.