New Zealand Cup (3200m) aspirant Major Tom will have one more run in the C S Stevens Memorial Banks Peninsula Cup (2200m) at Motukarara on Sunday before he contests the two-mile Riccarton feature later this month.
The Ken Rae and Krystal Williams-Tuhoro-trained runner has been in strong form of late, winning his last start over 2100m at Ashburton and placing in his two previous starts this spring.
The five-year-old gelding will carry 62.5kg and will jump from the outside barrier in the 10 horse field and his connections are taking a cautious approach into Sunday’s race.
“I’d rather get that draw now than in two weeks’ time,” Rae said. “He won with 60.5kg (last-start), so he should be competitive with 62.5kg.
“The Banks Peninsula Cup is really just another run for him heading into the New Zealand Cup, that’s why I didn’t claim on the weight.
“I mainly didn’t claim because he can be a tough horse to ride. Jasmine Fawcett was going to ride him, but she’s suspended, so I left Sam Collett on and at this stage she is riding him in the New Zealand Cup.”