Pokuru Gold Aims for Four

Date: 15 Jun 2024

Pokuru Gold Aims for Four

NZ Racing News reports:

Te Akau trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson have a small but select team entered for New Zealand’s two race meetings on Saturday, with all of their three starters looming as key chances.

The premiership-leading stable’s day kicks off in the opening race at Trentham, the TAB Odds Surge Every Race at Trentham 3YO (1000m). Walker and Bergerson’s unbeaten Pokuru Gold is rated a $1.60 chance to add a fourth win to his unblemished record.

The son of Darci Brahma made a big impression in his only start last spring, scoring a dominant front-running victory by three and a half lengths in a 970m maiden race at Cambridge in September.

After more than eight months off the scene, Pokuru Gold returned to action at Te Rapa on May 18 and again scored a smart win by two and a half lengths.

The Ian Farrelly homebred made it three-from-three at Pukekohe on June 1, overcoming a fierce late challenge from Rareza to win by a long neck.

Apprentice jockey Niranjan Parmar will take the ride on Pokuru Gold at Trentham on Saturday, reducing his impost from 58.5kg to 57.5kg. Pokuru Gold has proven himself in testing ground, so Walker and Bergerson are unfazed by Trentham’s Heavy10 track.

“He’s not a big horse, but he’s a real trier,” Walker said. “He’s really impressed us with all of those three wins.

“He’s dropping back from 1200 to 1000m for this race at Trentham on Saturday, so we want to keep him on the fresh side and haven’t done very much with him in between times. But he’s looking well and seems to be going into the race in good order.

“We’re not too sure yet how much more we’re going to do with him in this preparation. A lot of that is going to depend on how he goes on Saturday.”

Walker and Bergerson will also be represented by two leading contenders at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Devoted was beaten by a long neck by Ima Wonder in his first steeplechase start at Te Aroha on June 3, and he is rated a $1.60 chance to go one better in Saturday’s Waikato/BOP Racehorse Owners Association Maiden Steeplechase (3900m).

Later in the afternoon, Freeze Frame is a $4 second favourite behind Little Bit Of Love for the Bayonne Construction Mile (1600m).

Freeze Frame has a strong record at Te Rapa, where his eight previous starts have produced two wins and three placings.

The son of Vadamos has lined up at the Hamilton track in all of his last three races, starting with a second placing behind Sumi on April 14. He returned there two weeks later and turned the tables on Sumi, also beating the next-start Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes winner Karman Line (1400m). In his only start since then, Freeze Frame was a close and strong-finishing fourth over 1300m behind Aris Aris, Dusty Road and Turn The Ace.

Saturday’s step up to 1600m is a query for Freeze Frame, who has had only one previous attempt at that distance. He reared at the start that day and finished 10th in a 12-horse field at Tauranga on February 11.

But Walker believes that, with the assistance of a gear change, the talented four-year-old can make his presence felt over the mile on Saturday.

“He goes really well at Te Rapa, so it’s always good to find races for him there,” Walker said. “We’re keen to see how he goes up over a bit of ground, so we’ll take the blinkers off for this race and that should help him relax. The way he’s been finding the line over 1300m and 1400m gives us a bit of confidence that he should cope with going a bit further.”


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