Fringe players to the fore in Methven Cup
By Jonny Turner
Fringe players will get a big chance to boost their New Zealand Cup rankings in the Methven Cup on Sunday.
Plenty of underdogs will attempt to win their way into the time honoured feature in the 3000m staying test.
None of the field of 12 Methven Cup starters were ranked among the top-15 qualifiers when the latest New Zealand Cup rankings were released earlier this week.
Though at 16th, Allamericanlover has effectively moved into the top 15 given the withdrawal of the two-time New Zealand Cup champion Copy That.
The Stonewall Stud mare gets a royal chance to push her ranking up even further in Sunday’s feature after two below-par performances.
The Group 1 winner ran an OK fifth in the New Brighton Cup before battling into 11th placing in the Canterbury Classic.
Allamericanlover starts from the 15m back mark in the Methven Cup alongside One Change.
One Change also gets the chance to boost his New Zealand Cup hopes after two OK efforts this time in.
The pacer was unlucky in the Hannon Memorial before getting too far back in the Canterbury Classic, running 12th.
The likely Methven Cup favourite Franco Indie was ranked at a lowly 27th on the order of entry for the New Zealand Cup earlier this week.
But that looks set to change on Sunday.
The All Stars pacer has returned to racing after a decent break, producing two excellent second placings.
In the latest of those, Franco Indie ran his last 400m in a scintillating 25.88sec when chasing home his Methven Cup rival Smiffys Terror.
Smiffys Terror was a big winner of last year’s Methven Cup and he will be back to defend his crown in 2023.
And he gets the advantage of starting from the front line, after winning from a 10m handicap last year.
The pacer comes into the Methven Cup following a confidence boosting win at Addington last week, his first victory since winning the 2022 Methven Cup.