Pondarosa Miss Set For Melbourne Cup

By: Thomas Hackett
June 23rd, 2015

Co-owner Darrell Hollinshead has revealed that Kiwi stayer Pondarosa Miss will be set for the 2015 Melbourne Cup that will be held at Flemington on November 3.

Pondarosa Miss beat Addictive Habit (pictured) to win the Easter Handicap in New Zealand in April. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Pondarosa Miss beat Addictive Habit (pictured) to win the Easter Handicap in New Zealand in April. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Pondarosa Miss was sent to the spelling paddock after she failed to fire in the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on April 25, but she is now back in work and has started preparations for a Melbourne Cup campaign.

Hollinshead admits that Pondarosa Miss may not have the talent to win the Melbourne Cup, but he told The Informant that he believes that the rising five-year-old has done enough to be worthy of a place in the 2015 Melbourne Cup field.

“She’s been back in for a couple of weeks and looks great,” Hollinshead said.

“It’s early days but we’re hoping to have a crack at the Melbourne Cup.

“Whether she’s up to the class of those European stayers we’re not sure, but if everything goes to plan we’d like to find out.

“They’ve told us she’ll get something like 50.5 or 51 kilos, which includes the two-kilogram mare allowance.

“Going by the past couple of years that should be enough to get in the field.

“It’s early days and who’s to know, but we’ll give it a shot and see how it pans out.”

Pondarosa Miss started her summer campaign with an impressive win in the Pathways Immigration Handicap (1600m) at Te Rapa in December last year and she made her Group 1 debut with a third place finish in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, but she failed to fire in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham on January 24.

She performed well without winning in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 7, the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie on February 14, the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) on March 4 and the Group 1 Breeders Classic (1600m) at Te Aroha on April 4 before she claimed her first win at Group 1 level in the Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 18.

Pondarosa Miss may have shown her best form over a mile during her summer preparation, but Hollinshead was happy with the performance of the High Chaparral mare over 3200 metres  in the Auckland Cup and he is confident that she can run out a strong two miles in the Melbourne Cup.

“She maybe didn’t win but she still ran the trip out,” Hollinshead said.

“The amazing thing was that she still hadn’t fully recovered from that virus that bugged her all summer.

“There was still gunk coming out her nose after the race, which shows what a good run it was.”

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