Five-year-old mare Dee And Gee surprised both her trainers and punters alike when scoring a three-length victory in last Saturday’s Listed Metropolitan Trophy Handicap (2500m) at Riccarton.
The $51 chance never looked like being caught and no doubt punters will be keeping her safe when she backs-up in Saturday’s Gr.3 Christchurch Casino 155th New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton.
Prepared at Timaru by Terrill Charles and her partner Peter Corbett, heavy rain the day before last Saturday’s opening day of New Zealand Cup and Show Week nearly saw the mare withdrawn from the staying contest.
“We were almost going to scratch the night before when that rain came,” Corbett said.
“I thought she wasn’t going well enough and she's unproven on that slow 8 or slow 9 going.
“In the end, we thought it's going to cost a few bob to scratch her so we may as well have a go and hopefully run in the first ten.”
Originally trained by Shaune Ritchie, Dee And Gee has won four races for Charles and Corbett including a win over 2500m at last year’s Riccarton carnival.
“Last year I thought she would get up over a bit of ground but she was a wee bit weak and had a bit of filling out to do,” Corbett said.
“She's a funny horse in her work, she doesn't show you anything. She's one of the worst track workers I've had. She doesn't give anything away but on race day she seems to grow another leg.”
Corbett was full of praise for the ride of Cameron Lammas, with the jockey showing good initiative to take up the running mid-race.
“I cringed at the time,” Corbett said. “I thought he went miles too soon but he knew what he was doing. He said to me afterwards the pace had slackened off and he knew she could stay a bit so he set her alight.
“It’s just a pity he's not on her on Cup day. He said she took a bit of pulling up.”
Lisa Allpress will ride the daughter of Darci Brahma on Saturday on the minimum weight of 53kgs and Corbett is delighted with the way the mare has come through her run.
“She came home off the float and pulled our arms off to get out into the paddock and she bucked around a bit and was straight into the feed bowl,” he said.
“We put a saddle on her on Monday morning and took her for a jog up the road, she's just bouncing. She's ready to go, so we'll just keep her ticking over.”
The Timaru trainers do the majority of their training from their property and previously prepared She's Insatiable to win the Metropolitan Handicap before going on to finish third in the New Zealand Cup and later place in the Gr.2 Wellington Cup (3200m).
“I know she'll stay,” Corbett said. “If she's back to the glimpse's she showed us last season she'll give us a good account. As long as she goes out there and puts in a good effort, I'll be happy.
“She's full of surprises, so I hope she gives us another surprise on Saturday.”
Dee And Gee is rated a $21 chance to land the New Zealand Cup, with the market headed by Felaar and High Spirits at $5. – NZ Racing Desk