Iain Hyndman's Wanganui Tips
1: La Mia Sirena, Springsteen, Trendy Belt
2: Lady Rudolph, Arturo, Times Ticking
3: Fiano, Miss Sweet Pea, Showboat
4: Amorata, Commanding Prince, Casino El Jay
5: Portland Jimmy, Guillada, Shadow King
6: Roc Legend, Hinepara, Off Shaw
7: Hunta Pence, Yatima, Red Sierra
8: Happy Tav, Overthetop, Seaaprince
Best Bet: Hunta Pence (R7)
Sam Lennox is under no illusion repeating last season's Waverley/Wanganui Cup double will be a difficult task.
Last season fellow Waverley trainer Bill Thurlow made history when subsequent Auckland Cup winner Glory Day did the deed for the first time in living memory at least and this year Lennox has a chance to repeat with Sergeant Blast who already has the first leg after winning the Steelform Roofing Group-sponsored Waverley Cup earlier this month.
"He's no Glory Days though is he?" Lennox was quick to point out.
"And I don't think we will have the Wanganui Cup Christmas gift wrapped like we did in Waverley."
Three weeks ago the Darci Brahma seven-year-old came into the Waverley Cup with 51kg on his back on a suitable track with no clear cut pacemaker and an inside draw. He led throughout dictating the pace and fighting tenaciously to the line for a win at lucrative odds.
Lennox concedes the Steelform Roofing Group Wanganui Cup will be a different ball game.
"This looks a lot tougher. I am concerned about the wide draw (12). He will probably get back now instead of getting a nice drag along in the trail just behind the leaders if he had drawn inside.
"He's gone up in weight (55.5kg) too, although he's only 2.5kg above the minimum and I'm happy about that. I am happy with the horse and how he's come through his last run and I'm also pleased to have Leah Hemi on.
"I was lucky enough to get her earlier in the week and it's difficult to get good cup riders these days. I don't think Leah has ridden for me before," Lennox said.
The likelihood of a firm surface is of no concern to Lennox.
"He'll handle that no worries."
With no rain forecast all week track staff have been forced to use the newly-installed irrigation system – a near $200,000 investment – for the first time under pre-raceday conditions.
Track manager Craig Osman applied 8mm of water on Wednesday to bring the track to a Dead5 with further drying expected.