Son of Tavistock stars in Cup trial

27 Oct 2016

A missed opportunity at the recent Hawke's Bay Spring Carnival might turn to gold for trainer Grant Nicholson with his progressive Tavistock stayer Nymph Monte entering New Zealand Cup calculations with an impressive win at Riccarton on the weekend.

Nicholson had the five-year-old Tavistock gelding primed for a start in the Livamol Classic on the last day at Hastings but when he couldn't make the final field for the Group One contest Nicholson set his sights on a different goal. The first step on that new path was taken in Saturday's Listed Christchurch Casino Spring Classic (2000m) where the gelding simply destroyed his rivals in the closing stages to score by a comfortable four-length margin.

The victory was just what Nicholson was looking for as he gets ready to pay the late nomination fee for the Gr. 3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m) on the 12th of November.

"I knew he was well but I wasn't quite sure how he would measure up given he hadn't had a run for just on a month," Nicholson said.

"He was quite dominant in the end which is great to see as we get him ready for the Cup next month. He got a track that really suited him and Alysha (Collett) rode him superbly so I'm delighted with how things worked out."

Nicholson has always had a big opinion of his charge as a staying prospect although it is only this season where he has felt the horse had finally strengthened up enough to match his early potential.

"He really seems to have come of age for this preparation and you could see that when he won first up at Te Rapa," he noted.

"He was good enough to run in the Derby of his year whilst last season we just tried to take things slowly and work him through the grades.

"This was always going to be the campaign where we really wanted to test him so that's why I set him for the Livamol. He went super races on the first two days there but we just couldn't make the final field so I had to go back to the drawing board. That's when I decided to see if we could get to the New Zealand Cup and it's so far so good."

Bred by Cambridge Stud's Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan, Nymph Monte will now return to Riccarton on the first day of the three-day Riccarton Carnival on the 5th of November to contest the traditional Cup prelude, the Gold Metropolitan Trophy Handicap (2500m).

"He has pulled up well so we are pressing ahead with our plans which will see him run in the Metropolitan next," said Nicholson.

"Safely through that it will then be on to the Cup a week later. If he can strike a similar surface to Saturday I think they will know he has been in the race." - NZ Racing Desk