Racing: The Meista stands out in Timaru Cup

By Tayler Strong

The Meista will be hard to beat today. Photo / Otago Daily Times
The Meista will be hard to beat today. Photo / Otago Daily Times

The Meista is in line to win the Timaru Cup today after a rich vein of form this season.

The Peter and Dawn Williams-trained 5-year-old won fresh up over 1400m at Riccarton in October and he was successful in the Coupland's Mile Trial (1600m) at his next start.

He ran second to Altered Image in the group two Coupland's Mile and fifth in his subsequent start in the Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.

El Chico has not been rehandicapped for his win over 1200m in an $18,000 race at Wingatui on Sunday.

"The way the weights are compressed, I have decided to leave El Chico on 56kg, 1.5kg less than The Meista," Matt Hall, the handicapper, said.

Shamrox, who ran fifth in the Coupland's Mile after winning her other four starts, is on the minimum with 54kg.

Paul Taylor is making the trip from Pukekohe to ride Sargent Dan, who he has ridden to win at Riccarton and Washdyke in his past two starts.

Sargent Dan is owned and trained at Washdyke by Peter South, who raced Grey Way, winner of the 1979 Timaru Cup when trained there by Pat Corboy.

Tina Comignaghi, the apprentice who rode three winners at Wingatui on Sunday for her employers John and Karen Parsons, has the chance to extend her record today. She rides Carmen Jones, Don't Ask, Dear John and Tiddly Pom for the stable.

Motu Cup Day Cullen will be in demand at the Westport trots today after his impressive first-up win there on Sunday.

The 4-year-old son of Christian Cullen-Motu New York Girl confirmed a trial win at Motukarara on December 14. He had qualified at Addington in May for Redwood trainer Wayne Higgs, who has Motu Cup Day Cullen leased from 75-year-old Rangiora breeder George Timperley.

Motu Cup Day Cullen, who was born on New Zealand Trotting Cup day 2006 (Flashing Red won the Cup), is a half brother to winners Motu Hanover Prince, Motu Hat Trick (1.53) and The Duke Of York.

Their dam Motu New York Girl was unraced and she died last year after producing seven foals. She was by Motu Mister Smooth, who won eight races including the 1991 Amberley Cup when owned and trained by Timperley.

Fernleigh Renegade is a fresh runner at the meeting in the main race today.

He has been placed in his past four starts, the most recent at Addington on Thursday.

The David and Catherine Butt-trained Fernleigh Renegade will be driven by Jim Curtin, who trained and drove Franco Emirate to an outstanding win in the Westport Cup on Sunday.

Franco Emirate, winner of 10 of his 12 starts, will now head to the $40,000 Pelorus Classic at Waterlea on January 16 and a clash with Smiling Shard, winner of the Ashburton Cup on Sunday.

Hokonui Ben is a newcomer to the Curtin stable after being bought by Russell Nieper, the Dunedin owner of Franco Emirate.

Hokonui Ben was a last-start maiden winner at Wyndham on November 14 when trained by Winton part-owner Peter Drummond. The 4-year-old has raced five times.

- NZ Herald

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