Michael Pitman will set El Chico for an overseas campaign after his star sprinter’s victory in the LR Timaru Stakes at Riccarton.
El Chico (NZ) shouldered 59kg and came again after being headed to down Croix du Sud (Howbaddouwantit) by a short neck last weekend. The runner-up received six kilos off the winner.
El Chico (7g Stravinsky – Las Chicas Buenas by Classic Fame) won races at Awapuni and Matamata before transferring to the South Island. “I bought him for $20,000 off clients of Jan Hay,” Pitman said. “He’s now won 9 races at Riccarton and he’s broken 1.22s for 1400m four times.”
Pitman’s intends to nominate El Chico for the G1 Singapore KrisFlyer Sprint in May. “It’s been my life’s ambition to take a good horse overseas,” he said. “I didn’t get there with Coup Align but I might with this one.”
Coup Align (Align) won 12 races in 22 starts for Pitman and part-owners Ray Coupland and Joe Walls. He was also G1 placed in last year’s Telegraph Hcp at Trentham.
El Chico has now won 14 races and $250,000 topped by G3 victories in the Stewards Stakes and Easter Cup at Riccarton. He was third home in this year’s Telegraph Hcp a week before the Timaru Stakes victory.
Pitman races El Chico with Southland owners John and Evelyn Carran. The gelding hails from a (NZ) family that features the G1 winning Noble Bijou brothers The Phantom (VRC Mackinnon St) and The Phantom Chance (MVRC Cox Plate).