Weight relief may have been the deciding factor in a short-margin result in the Oamaru Cup (1600m) at Ashburton on Tuesday.
The race was taken out by the Tony and Lyn Prendergast-trained Trudeau, who nosed out King Cougar into second, with Owen Patrick a head back in third.
The five-year-old son of Pins was initially set to carry 56.5kg, however, with a number of jockeys unable to make the weight, the Prendergast’s elected to utilise apprentice jockey Tina Comignaghi’s one kilogram claim.
“It was really satisfying to get the win,” Tony Prendergast said.
“There was a real saga over riders. Jacob Lowry, who normally rides him, couldn’t make the weight at 56.5kg. He gave it a fair go, but he was a kilo over.
“We switched to Jason Laking and he had a go and he was a kilo over. We ended up claiming a kilo (with Comignaghi) and that probably tipped the balance in the finish.”
Trudeau took solid form into Tuesday’s contest with two wins from his last four starts and his last start fourth placing over 1400m at Ashburton prompted his connections to make a late entry for the Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton next Saturday.
“We were really confident with him (heading into the Oamaru Cup),” Prendergast said.
“We had put in a late nomination for the Winter Cup with him after he raced so well in his last start.
“Most of his wins have been run at 1400m, he did win a mile at Riccarton, so that prompted us to have a go at this.”
Trudeau won’t be the only stable representative vying for stakes glory next Saturday, with Who Dares Wins also set to line-up in the Winter Cup.
“Who Dares Wins, he is on target for the Winter Cup as well,” Prendergast said. “He trialled nicely the other day and is coming up well.” – NZ Racing Desk