On a day where the contenders for the upcoming age-group classics at Riccarton were on display around the country, South Island galloper Miss Tycoon Rose threw her hat in the ring with an impressive maiden victory.
The Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained three-year-old was backed off the map in the first event at Riccarton on Saturday as she reverted to maiden company after producing an eye-catching late run for fifth in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1400m) at her previous start.
The Written Tycoon filly didn’t disappoint as she announced her candidacy for the Group 1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) on November 14 with a stylish five-length victory in a slick 1.23.43 for the 1400m journey. “We’ve been very happy with how she is going and hopefully she has done enough now to get a start in the 1000 Guineas,” Michael Pitman said.
“Obviously, the punters thought she was a good thing yesterday and she proved that in the end. “I think the most impressive part of the win was the time she ran as that would be competitive against the best three-year-old fillies.”
While Pitman is bullish about her future prospects, it hasn’t always been that way after he outlaid $40,000 to purchase her from the Berkley Stud draft during the 2019 Book 2 Yearling Sale at Karaka. “She’s a big improver as when I first trialled her, I couldn’t wait to get rid of her,” he said. “We gave her a trial over 450m at Motukarara and she did absolutely nothing. “I dropped her off at Berkley Stud on the way home and she had a good break there. When she came back in, she was just a different horse.
“She was just weak and needed time to grow but she has kept improving all the way through. “She deserves her chance in the Guineas as she has always found the line, so I don’t think the mile will be a worry. “The other great thing about her is that the people who own her are also in a number of other horses with me and I’ve trained for them a long long time. “They come from all over New Zealand and I think they are all coming down for Cup Week.”
The Pitman team is also likely to have two runners in the first three-year-old classic of Christchurch Cup Week with the erratic but talented Ocean Park gelding Marine set to take his place in the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) alongside stablemate Watchmaker.
Marine finished second in Saturday’s Group 3 War Decree Stakes (1600m) but spoilt his chances by lugging in badly in the home straight. “Every time he has lined up it seems to be in the slowest race of the day and he just gets himself into trouble as he wants to go quicker,” Pitman said. “The good thing about the 2000 Guineas is that they always run it at a true pace which will suit him nicely. “He is going super and he should be very competitive.
“His stablemate Watchmaker also deserves his chance in the race and he is going great guns as well. “He will be a worthy back-up as he does everything right and has been running great sectionals in his latest races.”
While Pitman is looking forward to racing on his home patch over Cup Week, he is also gearing up for the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale of Two-year-olds at Karaka on November 18 & 19. “Our stable is really firing at the moment so it’s a good time to get up to Karaka and try and buy some more quality types,” he said. “We’re just trying to put together a syndicate to buy three horses so that will be very exciting once Cup Week is over.”