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Allen keen to make Subtle Point

Opaki trainer Roger Allen is confident of a good showing by his promising stayer Subtle Point in tomorrow’s Group Three NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport Wellington Cup at Trentham.

The six-year-old gelding is Allen’s first starter in the Cup, which is raced over 3200m and is widely regarded as New Zealand’s ultimate staying test, and the trainer is buoyant about his charge’s chances.

“He should be okay, and he will do the two-mile. The ones of [Alan] Sharrock [2021 winner Waisake and favourite Ladies Man] are proven, and they’ve done it, but I think we’ll be right there in the money,” said Allen, who has been patient with Subtle Point, a late starter to the races because of injury concerns.

“We didn’t really start him until he was a five-year-old because he had issues with a back leg.”

By Nadeem out of the good race mare Subtle, Subtle Point broke through for his maiden victory in May 2022 at Opaki.

He backed that up with a second victory and, since then, has won a third race and had four consecutive second placings.

Two of Subtle Point’s runner-up finishes came at Trentham, in the Chalmers Handicap over 2500m and the Manawatu Cup over 2300m in December and his fifth in the traditional Wellington Cup lead-up race, the Marton Cup [2200m], three weeks ago was full of merit.

In that race, Subtle Point drifted in the running and ran on late to finish less than two lengths behind winner Soldier Boy by running the fastest last 600m in 36.15 seconds.

“If you look at the sectionals, his were the fastest sectionals of all of them in the Marton Cup,” said Allen, who is keen for jockey Sam Spratt to get Subtle Point handily placed in the running and to keep his mind on the race.

“We just want him to get two or three back or three or four back, and one or two off the rail and hold our position because he does drift back and loses a bit of concentration halfway through the race, so we want to try and keep him up just off the pace and wait for the straight and get him in the open.”

Safely through tomorrow’s race, Allen intends to give Subtle Point a couple of weeks in the paddock before returning to Trentham in March for the New Zealand St Leger.

The TAB opened Subtle Point at $31 for the win on the fixed odds, but he is now rated a $26 chance for the win and $5.50 a place.

Allen is also confident of a good showing by his honest mare Ruby Rocks in the time-honoured John Turkington Forestry Duoro Cup over 1600m.

The six-year-old easily won at Woodville in December and was badly checked in finishing fifth in an open class 1600m at Trentham three weeks ago.

Fellow Opaki trainer Jim Wallace will line up his promising filly Pennyweka in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes, to be raced over 1600m. The daughter of Satono Aladdin out of Threepence was third in the Wellington Stakes before running on late in the Wellington Guineas two weeks ago.

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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