Mangos firms up his plans for South Coast Arden
By Michael Guerin
The South Island has trumped Victoria as trainer Brent Mangos prepares to go back to the tried and true with his stable star South Coast Arden.
Which means the 580kgs monster pacer will cross Cook Strait next week rather than the Tasman Sea.
Mangos had considered sending South Coast Arden to Victoria for the Victoria Cup next month, where he would have met up with a rival from just across the road in Copy That.
But with South Coast Arden stubbornly holding on to his winter coat and a week or two behind where Mangos would like him, he says Australia is coming up too soon.
“The Victoria Cup was an aim but to be going there you need to be fit and ready to race when you land,” he explains.
“I think he is well and looks good but he isn’t race fit and the Cup over there will come around quick.
“His coat hasn’t really turned yet and I think it will in the next two weeks but the South Island is the better option for us just now.”
South Coast Arden will have his first trip away from home for this campaign when he heads to Cambridge for a workout this Saturday, which may actually be him with a galloping pacemaker rather than in an organised workout.
“I will see how it shapes up down there but with some of the better horses from down there maybe likely to come to Pukekohe on Friday for a right-handed workout I am not sure there will be anything to run with him down there.
“So we might just end up doing our own thing and it is more about a trip away in the float and a run and getting his mind back on the job.”
After that South Coast Arden will follow a very similar strategy albeit a different path to last year’s Cup,
“He will go to the trials a week before the Canterbury Classic (September 30), which will be his first start back.”
That was a race South Coast Arden won last season before having two more Addington starts on his way to finishing third in the New Zealand Cup then three days later winning the New Zealand Free-For-All.
“We are planning on three starts into the Cup this time too but after Addington I’d like to go to the Methven Cup if the weather is good and track firm and then to Ashburton.”
While South Coast Arden won’t be heading to Victoria pre-New Zealand Cup his trainer says a trip there is still on the cards for the Inter Dominions which start on November 26.
“While we won’t be making the final call to after Cup week that is the plan and we are, as this stage, very keen to go.”
South Coast Arden is rated a $17 chance with the NZ TAB for the IRT New Zealand Cup and an $11 chance for the Inters with Australian bookmakers.