Matthews hopeful of seventh Ascot win
Trainer Alan Matthews has high hopes Pounamu can deliver him his seventh Perth Cup at Ascot on New Year's Day.
Mathews has had great success in the race down the years and is responsible for the amazing turnaround of Pounamu, who has gone from strength-to-strength after a first-up win in the Group 3 Beau Stakes (1400m) in November.
The positive is that it's only his fifth run in so it's not as if he's had a long campaign.Alan Matthews
Pounamu has since gone on to win the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), followed by the Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) last start, and is a leading contender in the Perth Cup.
"It all goes back to his first-up run in the Asian Beau, had he not won that, he wouldn't have got a free run into the Railway which then qualified him for the Kingston Town Classic," Mathews said.
"But fortunately, everything has just gone extremely well, he hasn't missed a day's work from day one and is still jumping out of his skin."
And ahead of the Perth Cup, the routine will not change.
"He lives in the paddock and eats grass all day - that's what he likes doing. And spends 90 percent of the day under a tree sleeping - it suits him - so we don't change a thing," Mathews added. "He'd get a bit annoyed if you had him locked up all the time.
"The positive is that it's only his fifth run in so it's not as if he's had a long campaign.
"We've been there before. If he goes to the races and gets beat we won't be heart broken - he's done a great job already this prep."
Pounamu is 4.60 to win the Perth Cup on New Year's Day with Dark Alert priced at 13.00.
Meanwhile, Bondi is 17.00 to win the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January.
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