Team Pitman have many fond memories of Trentham racecourse and they are hoping that will continue on Saturday when Miss Tycoon Rose (Written Tycoon) tackles the Gr.1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m).
“We have won three Group Ones there and it is track that is pretty special to us,” said Matthew Pitman, who trains in partnership with his father Michael.
“Growing up it was always my favourite track to go to. Our family has had a lot of success there and hopefully it can continue.”
The Pitmans have been pleased with Miss Tycoon Rose ahead of Saturday’s mile feature, with the Group One performer set to travel north from their Riccarton base on Thursday.
“We are really happy with her. She had a gallop on the course proper on Saturday morning here at Riccarton and worked really well,” Pitman said.
“She is going to have her final gallop on Wednesday on the course proper before travelling up Thursday morning.”
The four-year-old mare heads into Saturday off the back of her fourth placing in the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton earlier this month and her trainers have been pleased with the way she has come through the run.
“In the Coupland’s they walked around and sprinted home and we were midfield on the fence,” Pitman said.
“I think she ran the fastest last 200m and 400m. Although we expected her to go close to winning that day, we were happy with her run under the circumstances.
“Our confidence hasn’t been knocked at all and hopefully she is up to that class once again on Saturday.”
The Pitmans have plenty of time for the daughter of Written Tycoon who has a number of elite-level targets ahead of her this summer.
“We think she is top draw,” Pitman said. “She knows what she is there to do and she loves doing it. She is ultra-competitive, and she has got that something extra that you look for.
“There is so much for her this season. There is the Thorndon (Gr.1, 1600m), the Group One mile at Otaki, and then some fillies and mares Group Ones later in the season.
“But we will take each race as it comes and hopefully she can pick up a nice prize or two.”
Pitman is keeping a close eye on the weather forecast before deciding whether Miss Tycoon Rose will be joined by any of her stablemates on the trip north to Wellington later this week.
“Depending on what the track is like, possibly Okay Pal will go up for the Open Sprint,” he said. “We might take Ohio Showgirl up if it is a wetter track. We will assess that in the coming days.”
Pitman was fresh off returning from his trip to Cromwell’s two-day meeting over the weekend and he was pleased with the success the stable had at the picturesque Central Otago venue.
Da Vinci Girl broke through for her maiden victory in the Alexandra New World (2030m) on Friday, while Lennon did the same when dead-heating with Stop Yelling in the Otago Farm Machinery (1400m) on Sunday.
“It was good to see a couple of our longtime maidens finally pick up a prize,” Pitman said.
“Da Vinci Girl raced in the (NZ 1000) Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) last year and we thought she might have been up for an Oaks prep, but it came around too soon for her.
“She has matured with age and showed what she can do on the first day and then we picked up another winner on the second day.”
Despite the absence of the usual boisterous crowd as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Pitman enjoyed the weekend away and said those type of meetings are the lifeblood of the industry.
“It is a shame that the usual crowd wasn’t there, but the atmosphere was good nonetheless,” he said.
“It is one of those great meetings where people go along and stay for the weekend. It is one of those meetings that brings racing closer together.”