Chasing Cups five years apart

NZ HARNESS NEWS

What were you doing five years ago?

Can you remember that far back? The writer certainly can’t.

Let’s Elope, well he was winning the 2013 Te Awamutu Cup at Cambridge Raceway.

And on Thursday night, half a decade later, he looks to repeat the dose in the same race.

The son of Real Desire, now ten, has been in Victoria with Brent Lilley for the past four years and now has over half a million dollars in the bank for his longtime owners.

But now he’s back at the property on which he was born and raised and spent the first six years of his life, at Taupaki in West Auckland with Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins.

He’s been back in New Zealand for a month and co-trainer Hopkins say they’ve been pleasantly surprised with the horse.

“He’s really well and we’re very happy with where he is at at the moment.

“I think he knows he’s home. He’s slotted straight back in to his old routine nicely.”

After going winless last season, his owners decided to bring him home for a well-earned retirement.

But he was delivered to Cooney’s property first because he was in such great condition and some thought was given to one last small spring preparation.

“We’ve just been giving him normal work, varying it between hoppled and free-legged and he’s thriving,” said Hopkins.

“He is near his peak fitness but the run will tighten him up.”

With a couple of scratchings, it’s only a four-horse $12,000 Te Awamutu Cup tomorrow.

But it’s a field of quality with Jo’s Dream, No Doctor Needed and Lincoln Road ready to do battle in the standing start.

Jo’s Dream won her last start, defeating a gallant No Doctor Needed, and the latter’s trainer, Steve Telfer, believes his horse has come on appreciably in the three weeks since.

“He went to the trials last week and rolled around nicely, he is definitely a bit more forward this week,’’ he said.

Earlier on the card, Cooney and Hopkins line up two mares in Brooke’s Image and Gottabearose.

“Gottabearose is fresh-up and over 2700 for the first time without a trial, so may benefit from the run,” said Hopkins.

“Brooke’s Image’s best asset is her gate speed so from the second line it won’t be easy for her.”

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