Early indications are positive for Riccarton trainer Michael Pitman, who underwent surgery for bowel cancer on Monday.
The 63-year-old, who trains in partnership with his son Matthew, prepared Savvy Coup to win last Saturday’s Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m).
The daughter of Savabeel will now head to Melbourne for a clash with Winx in the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 27 and Pitman is hoping to recover in time to be trackside.
“We were anxiously waiting yesterday,” Matthew Pitman said.
“He was meant to be in theatre for five hours and he ended up being in there for about seven and a half, but other than taking a bit longer than anticipated, it went pretty well from what the surgeon told us.
“I’ve spoken to Dad this morning and mum has been in to see him.
“He’s well and he has got his phone back, so he is sitting there in hospital watching races.
“He’s a bit drowsy and a bit sore, but all went well.”
Savvy Coup will travel to Melbourne on the October 17 to give the dual Group One winner ten days to prepare for her toughest assignment to date.
“Mum will go over with her and Savvy Coup is a mare that loves travelling,” Pitman said.
“She got back (from the North Island) yesterday afternoon and was straight into her feed. The run hasn’t knocked her around one little bit and she looks as bright as ever.
“It is crazy to think but there is possibly improvement in her yet and we are very happy with her.”
Meanwhile, the win of Son Of Maher at Riccarton on Tuesday would no doubt have provided the perfect tonic for Pitman Senior.
The six-year-old gelding showed he was on-track to defend his title in the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile on November 11 with a gritty victory in the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile Prelude (1400m).
“We were really happy with where he was at and it was an exceptional ride from Tina (jockey Tina Comignaghi).
“It will be a lovely boost for Dad.”