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Pennyweka may get Sydney trip

The A$1 million [NZ$1.08m] Australian Oaks is on the radar for Wairarapa’s pride and joy, Pennyweka.

Cheered on by a big band of syndicate members and supporters, the three-year-old filly cruised to an easy victory in last Saturday’s Group One New Zealand Oaks at Trentham, and now connections are setting sights on the big money across the Tasman.

Veteran Opaki trainer Jim Wallace told NZ Racing the decision to bypass a trip south to Riccarton for the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas in November had paid dividends,
and he was pleased
to see Pennyweka proving her class over a staying trip.

“She is a dead-set superior stayer with a nice turn of foot, and I think if we handle her properly, maybe November in 12 months’ time, she might
make a lovely Melbourne Cup [Gr.1, 3200m] horse,” he said.

Wallace had been uncertain about what would be the next target for the daughter of Satono Aladdin after her stunning three-length win, with his initial thoughts to give her a break.

But he indicated yesterday that the group one fillies’ classic at Sydney’s Royal Randwick is where Pennyweka will next line up.

“She’s come through the NZ Oaks extremely well like she never went round,” Wallace said.

“If everything goes well in the next couple of weeks, that’s the plan. If it goes according to plan, we’ll fly over on Sunday, April 2, and the race is the following Saturday.”

Wallace believes the 2400m on the big roomy Randwick track will suit the talented Pennyweka.

“It’s a solid mile-and-a-half at Randwick because there’s a big long run in and uphill in the straight for a good part of it, so it’s a testing run in, and we hope it will suit her.”

Wallace is undecided on a jockey at this stage and whether successful NZ Oaks jockey Ryan Elliot will make the journey across the Tasman for the ride.

Should connections pay up the late entry fee, and line up in the Australian Oaks, many of her loyal 70-plus syndicate members are planning to be on-course, with rumours of some looking to charter a plane for the trip to Sydney.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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