Michael and Matthew Pitman are following an historically proven path to Australian Group One glory with their top filly Savvy Coup.
The Riccarton trainers have taken note of events of recent seasons in planning the programme of their classy daughter of Savabeel, who will strip at the top of her game for Saturday's Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.
Savvy Coup is a last-start winner of the Gr.3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) and she has improved since that emphatic victory at Hastings, according to Michael Pitman.
"She's stayed at Trentham all the way through and been working very well on the course proper so it's like her home track.
"We've been really happy with her, she won the Lowland in her first run for five weeks and first over ground.
"History shows the Lowland to be a very good race and there are direct flights out of Christchurch to Sydney and she's booked to go on April 4.
"Both Bonneval and Sophia Rosa ran in the Lowland Stakes, the Oaks here and then won the Australian Oaks — it's the right way to go."
Meanwhile, at Ashburton today the father and son team will be banking on Prince Ransom (Ecolab 1600m) and Mahana (NZ Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series 1400m) to continue the stable's hot trot.
"We've had an unbelievable run lately, we lined up two horses at Hastings (Montoya Star and Savvy Coup) and they both won and then we had three runners at Riccarton (Vinsanity, Magic Note and Don't Be Cheeky) and they all won," Pitman said.
"I think the old campaigner Prince Ransom is a huge chance and Mahana will go well.
"She was a bit unlucky last time out."
●Pukekohe two-year-old Melt is to be given her shot at Group One redemption.
The daughter of Iffraaj was unbeaten in her first two starts, both in black type company, before she finished sixth in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.
"The track came up too firm for her and Michael (McNab) said she never let down," trainer Nigel Tiley said.
Melt had won the Listed Ashford Park Stakes (1100m) on debut and then claimed the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m).
"I couldn't fault her going into the Sistema and she's come through the race really well so we'll press on."
The Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on March 31 is her next target, after which she is likely to be spelled.
Meanwhile, Tiley is considering a tilt at next month's Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) with the talented Megablast.
The black type performer hasn't raced since he finished a close eighth in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) in the spring.
"He's had a jump-out here at Pukekohe recently and he's going well," Tiley said. "He goes well fresh and hopefully there'll be some rain around for the Easter."
Megablast has proved a versatile performer with two first-up wins over 1600m among his eight career victories and has placed in the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) and the Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m). He also finished fourth in last season's Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m).
The Easter was also to have been on The Justice League's programme, but a paddock mishap has ruled him out for the season.
- NZ Racing Desk