Counties Cup-winning trainer Don Walker has always had a laid-back approach to his mare Postmans Daughter.
"I've taken the hood off her for the City Of Auckland Cup," said Walker last night. "That should suit her better."
Postmans Daughter was a well beaten 14th in the Waikato Cup after Counties then a better-than-it-looked ninth in the weekend's Zabeel Classic, behind Shez Sinsational.
Postmans Daughter will be better suited to the handicap conditions and the 2400m compared with the sharpness of the Zabeel's 2000m.
"And, I think I've got the best rider in the race," said Walker.
The mare will be ridden by Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller.
"Nash won on Darth Vader for me at Flemington a few years ago, so we're going for two from two." The TAB yesterday rated Postmans Daughter a $10 chance, behind four other runners.
Walker, a farmer for most of his life, trains horses by feel rather than experience.
"She's leaping about the place and I can't find anything wrong with her," he says.
The performance of Sum Up to finish second to Dawn Ghost in the Waikato Cup last start was full of merit. He was held up and it would not be stretching things to say he probably should have won.
Sum Up is one of the north's most improved stayers this season and gives the impression he is on the verge of a decent victory.
His No 15 barrier draw in a field of 16 is far from ideal, but there is a long run down the Ellerslie home straight from the 2400m starting point and Sum Up generally drops back anyway.
An interesting runner is Awapuni mare Marea Alta, who relished a heavy track when storming home to win the Taumaranui Gold Cup at Te Rapa in July. Should she strike her favoured soft footing she could be a good each-way chance.
In-form trainer Graham Richardson has a huge chance of winning the Dunstan Feeds Champion Final with former Hong Kong galloper Green Supreme.
He looked the goods before going to Hong Kong, but failed to find his right form there and was returned to New Zealand and Graham Richardson has turned the classy stayer around.
He got through an "off" track to win at Te Rapa last start and it appears conditions may not worry the go-forward type.
Cup market: $4.60 Innocent Lady, $7 Sum Up, $7.50 Jeu de Cartes, $8 Marea Alta, $10 Postmans Daughter, $12 Fazza, Cassini, Castle Heights; $15 Single Minded, Tullaroan; $21 Six O'Clock News, $31 Don Domingo, Back In Black; $41 Top Spot, $101 Hiace.