Opunake Cup repeat for Tavistock gelding?

22 Jul 2017

Tavistock gelding Longchamp will be looking to go back-to-back in the Listed Opunake Cup at New Plymouth on Sunday.

Trainer Andrew Campbell is happy with how the five-year-old has performed during this campaign, placing in both of his starts.

He ran a creditable third at Trentham behind Opunake Cup rival New York Minute, before heading to Awapuni on July 8 where he was pipped at the line by the promising Dolcetto.

“In the first race (at Trentham) he needed a run because he hadn’t had a trial at all and he just came to the end of it when he hit the bog up the straight. I was happy with that run, he had a good blow,” Campbell said.

“His last start was a good run I thought, he carried a lot more weight than Dolcetto, who is an up and coming horse.

“I’m over the moon with him, he’s come through it great and he’ll be going in there really happy. His work on Tuesday was super.”

Campbell rates New York Minute, who will carry 3.5kg less than Longchamp, the biggest threat in the race. The Iffraaj mare has been impressive after placing in the Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes and Listed Tauranga Classic this year.

“It is a good even field but New York Minute will be hard to beat,” Campbell said.

Longchamp will be ridden by leading central districts jockey Jonathan Parkes and Campbell isn't concerned about the weight or the heavy 11 track conditions.

“He goes on anything this horse, but he gets through the wet tracks really well, so it doesn’t particularly worry us.

“I’m really happy with the weight and that Duffers Creek is in there, otherwise we would be carrying topweight.”

Campbell will look toward the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival with Longchamp after Saturday, with a possible run in the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa also an option.

“We’ll see how he comes through the race and he may go to Te Rapa for the Foxbridge, we’ll just play it by ear with that,” he said.

“He’ll head to Hastings for the first race (Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy), which has always been his main aim.”

Longchamp will be looking to improve in the race from his fourth-placing last year and Campbell said he is contemplating running him in the remaining two feature races at Hastings.

“He’s never been over ground, the furthest he has been is once over a mile down in Christchurch when he was a three-year-old.

“I couldn’t see why he couldn’t get over ground, so we’ll have a crack at a couple of them at least.” – NZ Racing Desk