Racing: Pitman a sure thing either way

By Matt Smith

Tom Wood wasn't just seeing double at Waikouaiti yesterday - he was seeing quintuple.

The Otago commentator was given the awkward challenge of calling the open sprint at Waikouaiti, which was a field entirely comprising Michael Pitman-trained runners.

Seven horses originally accepted for the 1250m race, but Pitman scratched two of them after they raced at Kurow, leaving Wood with a slightly easier task. It also helped that one jockey, Amelia Denby on Our Genes, had the addition of black chevrons to the standard Pitman colours of red with white striped sleeves.

There was a concerning moment before the preliminaries however, when Wood spotted some helmet replication among the jockeys. He quickly put paid to that.

"There were two white caps to start off with out there, so a call out the window to the jockeys fixed that."

So Elusive went out favourite in the Pitman benefit, but it was Our Genes in the hands of Denby who prevailed by half a head.

Pitman was thrilled to see the old campaigner notch up his 23rd win from 137 starts.

"23 wins - that's more than Black Caviar," Pitman said.

Pitman brought him back to the sprint distance after he got Our Genes from Waiuku trainer Moira Murdoch.

"When I got him, his past six or seven starts were in 2000m races," Pitman said. "And we've just kept him fresh and sprinted him."

Did Pitman really care which of his runners won the race? Not really.

"We were happy whatever way it went," he said. "Ironically, Jim Bruford who owns So Elusive also owns Our Genes."

In the Waikouaiti Cup, Inferno capitalised on a lovely ride by jockey Shankar Muniandy to win the $16,000 feature.

Muniandy positioned the Yamanin Vital mare just behind the leaders before letting her down to win by three-quarters of a length.

- Otago Daily Times

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