Poutama duo primed for Cambridge

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Trainer Andre Poutama is enjoying being back in his hometown of Palmerston North and he has quickly added to his team since he has been based at Manawatu Raceway.

“I prefer to be down there than up in Pukekohe,” he said. “I have got 12 in work now and I have got a couple more coming into the stable shortly, which is good.”

On Wednesday, Poutama travelled north with two of his stable representatives to race at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday, and he believes both are winning chances.

In-form pacer Jimmy Richter will tackle the Balloons Visit Waipa 19th March Mobile Pace (2200m) and Poutama is hoping the six-year-old gelding can record an elusive win.

The son of Auckland Reactor has placed in his last three starts and Poutama was particularly impressed with his last-start third-placing at Manawatu Raceway.

“He has been going good lately, he is not far from getting his win that he deserves,” Poutama said.

“He had to do a bit of work last start. He worked to get to the front and didn’t get much of a breather before something else had a look at him. He stuck on well to run third, so I was pretty impressed with that run.”

Jimmy Richter has drawn the ace barrier for Thursday and Poutama, who will also take the reins, said his charge should be able to take advantage of that draw.

“It’s a nice draw,” he said. “Finally he has got a decent draw that he will be able to use. Hopefully he won’t have to do too much.”

In the following race Poutama will line-up Mackali in the Ike Unsworth Bayleys Handicap Trot (2700m).

The six-year-old mare has placed in four of her last five starts and won two starts back at Palmerston North.

“She has been going great,” Poutama said. “She deserved that win and it was good to get it at Palmerston North in front of her owner.

“She has got a field she can definitely get another win. It’s not a particularly strong field.”

Poutama has also picked up two outside drives behind the Ross Paynter-trained As Free As Air in the BetaVet Handicap Trot (2700m), and Bet Your Boots in the Brogden Horse Transport Mobile Pace (2200m).

“As Free As Air has been going really well,” Poutama said. “She went well last start (when finishing second), she kicked on well. She is in a winnable race again, so she is definitely a top three chance.

“I don’t know a lot about Bet Your Boots. She had a bit of broken gear behind the gates in her first start so didn’t take any part in it. She is pretty much going around to learn the ropes I’d imagine.”

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