High-class galloper Scapolo went back-to-back in today’s $30,000 Lindauer Poverty Bay Cup at Makaraka, carrying an enormous weight to victory in the Rating 85 contest for the second year in a row.
Last year the son of Bachelor Duke was allotted a hefty 69-kilogram topweight, reduced to 66 by Danielle Hirini’s three-kilogram claim. That wasn’t enough to stop him as he cruised to victory by a length and a quarter.
It was more of the same this afternoon. Scapolo was reunited with Hirini, whose claim is now two kilograms and reduced his impost to 66.5 kilograms. The seven-year-old settled towards the rear of the field in the 1600-metre event, then crept closer along the inside approaching the home turn.
Hirini angled him into the clear at the top of the straight and he let down strongly in the last 200 metres, running down the game leader Breaking Dawn and winning by a short neck. The winner’s stablemate Weissmuller finished a further six lengths behind the first pair.
Hirini is now unbeaten in two rides on the Kevin Myers-trained gelding.
Scapolo has now had 52 starts for 17 wins and 18 placings, and today’s win took his prize-money earnings past $650,000. His victories include the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile and the Gr. 3 Canterbury Gold Cup and Sweynesse Stakes.
Last year Scapolo used the Poverty Cup as a springboard to the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki a week later, in which he finished third to Volkstok’n’barrell and Julinsky Prince.