The Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) is quickly coming upon us and no one is more excited than Riverton trainers Kelvin and Aimee Tyler.
The father-daughter team could have three horses contesting the race with dual stakes winner Lightning Jack (NZ) (Per Incanto) securing his spot with victory in the Paul Brand Pendene Farm Open 1600 at Ashburton on Sunday.
The son of Per Incanto raced midfield before coming off the hot pace to run home to a 1-1/4 length victory over Upperhand, with a further 2-1/4 lengths back to Jewel Of Patch (I Am Invincible) in third.
His trainers were pleased with the win and said he needed that result in order to press on to his Group Two goal next month.
“His target all along has been the Coupland’s Mile. That was a must win for him yesterday, so I am a bit relieved it turned out like it did,” Kelvin Tyler said.
Lightning Jack finished tenth first-up over 1200m earlier this month, which Tyler said was always going to be too short for him.
“It was probably a touch sharp for him that day but it wasn’t a bad run, he wasn’t far from the winner,” he said.
“He is a horse that needs a bit of time to wind up and a bit more ground.”
Lightning Jack will now head straight to the Coupland’s Mile at Riccarton on November 11 where he could be joined by stablemates Tobilicious (NZ) (Natural Destiny) and Flying Sardine (NZ) (Flying Spur).
Tobilicious finished fourth last-start over 1200m at Riccarton and will return to the Christchurch track next week for a final hit-out before the Coupland’s Mile.
“Tobilicious’ run last start was massive, I was really rapt with him,” Tyler said.
“He has come through his race really well too. He is going to Riccarton next week. There is a 1400m race there. He is looking really good.”
Stablemate Flying Sardine has been in impeccable form since returning from her Australian campaign, putting together three wins from as many starts.
She was likely to head to the broodmare paddock, however, Tyler said the mare is thriving on the track so he has decided to delay her raceday retirement until next year.
“It’s good to have her home and she just loves her work,” he said. “I thought about getting her in-foal this year, but I think I might just wait another year because I am so happy with her.
“She races next Monday at the Wyndham Cup meeting. She is in the Coupland’s Mile as well, but we will just play that by ear and see what the weather does. She is not out of it either on a good track, she has run some nice races on top of the ground. “But we don’t have any concrete plans with her as yet.”