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Tinseltown shines at Pukekohe

By Paul Gueorgieff

The New Zealand arm of Mike Moroney's stable posted its second feature win in 10 days when Tinseltown took out the Group Two Counties Cup at Pukekohe to confirm a second attempt at the Wellington Cup.

Moroney is mainly based in Melbourne with new training partner Andrew Clarken overseeing Saturday's winner Tinseltown and Altered Image, winner of the Group Two Coupland's Mile in Christchurch on November 10.

The wins were important for Clarken who replaced Moroney's brother Paul as training partner from August 1.

Clarken, 38, was Mike Moroney's assistant when he opened his first Australian stable in Adelaide in 1997 and moved with him to Melbourne.

He spent a total of 8-1/2 years with Moroney before again linking with him this year and moving to New Zealand in February.

Tinseltown finished seventh in last year's Wellington Cup but the stable is keen to have another crack at the race rather than the Auckland Cup (3200m) in March.

"That's the one that will suit him the best," Clarken told NZPA.

Tinseltown has been unplaced in the past two Auckland Cups and Clarken said there was greater confidence the horse would be better off at the 2400 metres at Trentham on January 29.

"Unless he's really seasoned we don't think he'll get two miles (about 3200m). He's sort of struggled at that distance beforehand," Clarken said.

Tinseltown went into Saturday's 2200m race with only two starts up to 1600 metres since returning from the Brisbane winter carnival but Clarken said that seemed to suit the horse.

"He's a pretty clean winded horse and he comes to hand pretty quickly," he said.

"He doesn't need a lot of racing.

"We try and keep a bit of freshness about him and he seems to give us a bit more turn of foot that way."

With the Avondale Gold Cup this season switched from December to February, a likely next start for Tinseltown is the Group Two Waikato Cup (2400m) at Te Rapa, Hamilton, on December 11.

Tinseltown carried topweight of 57kg at Pukekohe and had a good run four back on the inner for rider Craig Grylls.

The gaps opened nicely in the home straight for the horse to hit the front with 200 metres to run and he scored by 1-1/2 lengths as $5.10 favourite.

Second was Six O'Clock News who raced mid-field and ran home well down the outer with 1-1/4 lengths to He's Heroic in third who.

[22 Nov 10]


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