Some smart thinking from Chris Waller saw out of form galloper Coup Ay Tee (NZ) get back in the winners circle with a victory in the $85,000 Bridie Sparkes (BM81) Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Coup Ay Tee (NZ) and Hugh Bowman, picture Sportpix.com.au
Coup Ay Tee had come across from New Zealand to Waller in good form and continued that in his early runs for Waller but at his past two preparations the wheels have fallen off.
Waller is rated as one of the best trainers in Australia for nothing, as he gave the Coup Ay Tee a quick back up, dropped him back in distance then the leaders did the rest of the job but setting a solid tempo.
With Hugh Bowman on board, Coup Ay Tee came from last in the run, making ground between the 700m and 600m to tack onto the field before going wide as the runners rounded the corner.
With plenty of lengths to make up, Bowman continued to urge Coup Ay Tee and with every stride the gelding reined in the leaders before kicking clear over the final half furlong to score a strong, if not surprising win.
At the line the margin was three quarters to Soledad (McEvoy) with Madibagold (Schofield) a short neck away in third place. The overall time was 1.22.31 with the last 600m run in 35.13.
“He has been disappointing,” stable representative Liam Prior said. “His run last week, was kind of clutching at straws, trying to bring about improvement and it didn’t work.
“Chris said lets drop him back in distance, give him a quick back up, hopefully it takes a bit of the freshness out of him; he was pulling early but Hughy got him travelling at the 600m and it was a good win.
“I think he is aided by the tempo over short courses, it allows him to settle better and he finishes off as a result.”
“I haven’t been riding the horse, but having the horse come back in trip probably helped,” Bowman said.
“The horse wasn’t too fit but I didn’t want to go back to last, so I thought if I could be midfield that would be good, but I had to go back to get cover.
“Once I got back there the horse got into a beautiful rhythm, at the 800m I thought I was a long way off them but as I got to the 600m I thought I had plenty of horse and he rounded them up quicker than expected and he was strong late, which was good.”
Coup Ay Tee (NZ) is by Danske (NZ) out of the Tuscan Flyer mare Flying Coup (NZ) and is owned by RA Coupland of Princess Coup (NZ) fame and Mrs J D Walls.