Whanganui trainer Raymond Connors will bid to defend two feature race crowns when he lines up horses at Te Rapa and Awapuni tomorrow.

Connors will seek back-to-back wins in the Signature Homes Waikato Steeplechase (3900m) at Te Rapa with Max, while She's Poppy looks to make it successive wins in the Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m) at Awapuni.

Typically reserved in his assessment, Connors simply said he's "hoping for the best".

Gallant Guru nine-year-old Max produced a proficient jumping display en route to his 2-length win in last year's Te Rapa feature.

Max is reunited tomorrow with Isaac Lupton, who will chase his third win in the race after Myths And Legends in 2012 and Max last year.

Connors has his sights set on the McGregor Grant Steeplechase at Ellerslie on June 3 with Max.


Connors was hoping rain this week would bring She's Poppy into contention for the Rangitikei Gold Cup after she was unplaced on dead tracks in her last two starts.

- NZ Racing Desk