Cranbourne out to defend Methven crown

By Jonny Turner

Plenty has changed for Cranbourne ahead of his return to defend his Group Three Methven Cup title on Sunday.

But not everything.

The pacer will attempt to replicate his 2021 victory in the 3000m New Zealand Cup lead-up when he takes on a capacity field packed full of talented horses.

Following an outstanding summer and autumn campaign Cranbourne returns in 2022 as a more established open-class force.

But in his first run of the season, the five-year-old showed an old trick that he had previously put behind him, when galloping away and being pulled up by driver Matthew Williamson.

Trainer Brent White, who recently joined son Tim in a training partnership, is confident his horse can show that mistake was a one off and that the older, wiser and better Cranbourne is back and ready for a big spring.

“We will put last week behind us,” White said.

“We are happy with him, this week has been a good week for him.”

“I think his coat has come on this week and I am 99.95% sure his manners will be good.”

“From there it will be a matter of what Matty would like to do with him.”

Cranbourne’s conditioning after he was pulled up and effectively missed a race by not participating in the Canterbury Classic is the only slight concern for the White camp ahead of the horse’s Methven Cup defence.

“Probably the only concern is that he missed that run last week when he was pulled up.”

“But he has done a bit of work at home of course.”

While Cranbourne was out of action in the Canterbury Classic, several Methven Cup hopefuls were producing excellent performances.

None more so than Self Assured who was outstanding when running second to B D Joe.

Self Assured shares the 30m back mark with Spankem and South Coast Arden who were both excellent in the Canterbury Classic.

Cranbourne starts from the 20m mark alongside Kango and Alta Wiseguy who have already won New Zealand Cup lead-up races this spring.

The front line is headed by Macandrew Aviator who has run two cracking races in the Hannon Memorial and the Canterbury Classic recently.

The Brent and Tim White stable also start 10m marker Got You Covered in the Methven Cup.

The four-year-old looked a touch disappointing fresh up in the Canterbury Classic when landing the one-one and battling on fairly.

But Brent White was more than happy with the run.

“I was actually happy with his run, it is a big jump from racing in country cups to racing in that top grade.”

“When you did all the numbers on his run it wasn’t that bad at all.”

“Getting on to the grass is good for him and he has come on in leaps and bounds since then.”

“If he can get away and get into a nice position he is definitely not the worst.”

Got You Covered heads into the Methven Cup with six wins from 13 starts on grass.

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