Riccarton trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman will aim Son Of Maher at Group 1 features over the upcoming New Zealand summer carnival, reports NZ Racing Desk. The New Zealand Cup carnival kings produced an impressive eight winners during the meeting, among them their highly-regarded 5YOs dead-heat victory with Shadows Cast in the Gr2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile (1600m). "He's a horse that I've made no secret of the fact that I think he's the best horse I've ever trained," Michael Pitman said. "We're going to come up to Trentham for the Captain Cook Stakes [Gr1] and then bring him back home and get him ready for the Thorndon Mile [Gr1]." Son Of Maher (Al Maher-Dance Hit, by Tights) has two stakes victories to his name, the Coupland's Bakeries Mile and the Listed Dunedin Guineas, but also boasts a second to Dukedom in the 2016 Gr1 Levin Classic.
At Wingatui in New Zealand, White Robe Lodge's multiple group-winning Australian-bred stallion Gallant Guru (Montjeu-Proud Halo, by Don't Say Halo) added a black-type success when 5YO mare Coulee (Gallant Guru-Cherry Creek, by Monashee Mountain) scored by 1.3-lengths for trainers Brian & Shane Anderton in the NZ$70,000 Gr3 White Robe Lodge Hcp (1600m) for Open runners, over stable mate 8YO gelding Tommy Tucker (Gallant Guru-Lady Vital, by Yamanin Vital) from 4YO horse Son Of Maher (Al Maher-Dance Hit, by Tights). Coulee took her record to 8 wins (including the Gr3 South Island Breeders Stakes & 9 placings from 26 starts for $202,572 earnings.
At Wingatui in New Zealand, Emirates Park Stud stallion Al Maher (Danehill-Show Dancing, by Don't Say Halo) added a black type success when 3YO colt Son Of Maher (Al Maher-Dance Hit, by Tights) scored by a half neck for trainers Michael & Matthew Pitman in the NZ$50,000 Listed Dunedin Guineas (1400m) for 3YOs, over 3YO fillies Replique (Darci Brahma-Mystique, by Montjeu) & Princess Davone (Iffraaj-Nikey Davone, by Bertolini). This was the first stakes victory for Son Of Maher who took his record to 3 wins and 4 placings (including the Gr1 WRC Levin Classic) from 10 starts for NZ$108,125 earnings.
At Trentham in New Zealand, Gr1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner & NZ The Oaks Stud shuttler Bachelor Duke (Miswaki-Gossamer, by Seattle Slew) celebrated an elite Gr1 success when 3YO gelding Dukedom (Bachelor Duke-Bianca Bay, by Bianconi) scored by a short head for trainer Steven Cole in the NZ$225,000 Gr1 Levin Classic (1600m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Son Of Maher (Al Maher-Dance Hit, by Tights) & fellow 3YO gelding Rangipo (Stryker-Holloway Castle, by Zabeel). A NZ$65,000 purchase at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale from the draft of The Oaks Stud, Dukedom took his record to 2 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr2 ARC Great Northern Guineas) from 6 starts for NZ$160,050 earnings. "It's amazing, a whole lot of emotions," Cole told NZ Racing Desk. "It's my first Group One winner and a huge thrill. It's an amazing feeling and I didn't think he was going to pick them up, but he's a very, very good horse." Dukedom will now be given a short break before heading to the Gr2 Avondale Guineas and then the Gr1 New Zealand Derby.
At Riccarton Park in New Zealand, The Oaks Stud's 5-time Gr1-winning & 5-time Gr1-placed stallion Darci Brahma (Danehill-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel) added a black-type success when 3YO filly Risque (Darci Brahma-So Explicit, by Straight Strike) scored by 1.25-lengths for trainers Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards in the NZ$70,000 Listed Armadillo Stakes (1600m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Son Of Maher (Al Maher-Dance Hit, by Tights) & fellow 3YO filly Special Memories (Fastnet Rock-Memories of You, by Galileo). Risque took her record to 2 wins and 2 placings from 5 starts for NZ$55,600 earnings.