Ashburton Flying Stakes for South Coast Arden

By Michael Guerin

South Coast Arden’s plans may have changed but his standing start status hasn’t.

Which means when the big fella makes a surprise appearance in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton on Monday he will remain on the unruly.

South Coast Arden, who was brave on the track but beaten in the inquiry room at Addington last Friday, was originally likely to miss next Monday’s Flying Stakes in preference to starting in the Kaikoura Cup, now to be held at Addington, the following Monday.

But trainer Brent Mangos decided with some of the northern stars staying home this weekend and set to miss Ashburton it was a nice race for South Coast Arden.

“I spoke to Brent and by starting next Monday he has more options,” said caretaker trainer Natalie Rasmussen.

“He gets a run there and then we have the option of backing up at Addington the following Monday or looking for something easier like the Cup trial before he goes to the Cup.”

South Coast Arden will join Self Assured, who hit the line locked together with him last Friday, and Pembrook Playboy as the main attractions in the Flying Stakes.

But he won’t change is his unruly status, with Rasmussen suggesting he is better off there for now after being cantankerous before the start of last Friday’s race.

“He was lucky he came down on the right foot the other day but the way he was rearing up and down he could have missed it,” said Rasmussen, who has been driving South Coast Arden.

“Ultimately it is Mango’s decision whether he wants him on the unruly for the NZ Cup or not but for now I think at least one more start on the unruly will give him more room to move and Mango can decide after that.”

Not only are the nominations for the Flying Stakes deeper than expected but the Flying Mile entries have been boosted by Muscle Mountain, giving him the option to head there after he galloped away badly from the standing at Addington last Friday.

The Ashburton fields are due out on Tuesday afternoon.

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