Pitman has classy Milo in town

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I had the absolute pleasure to talk to one of the best trainers from across the ditch today- Michael Pitman. He is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to racing and I would talk to him all day if I could.

For those who don’t realise Michael Pitman trains his horses from the south island of New Zealand and it is known that the southern trainers don’t get as much recognition as their peers do in the north, but Michael has done a bit to change that as in 2008 he became the first southern island trainer to win the New Zealand premiership in 36 years when he beat Mark Walker by two wins. A phenomenal effort and one that us aussies probably didn’t hear as much about as we should have!

As we speak now he is 23 wins in front of any other trainer on the NZ trainers premiership and heading towards his second training premiership. He has also trained over 1300 winners in his career.

I got a shock when Michael told me he only has 40 horses in the stables at the very most and when I checked he has had 92 winners so far this season. A stat any trainer anywhere in the world would love to have.

I was very keen to get Michaels thoughts on his unlucky runner El Chico last weekend and Milo that will go around Doomben 10,000 day. I started by asking about the unlucky El Chico and what his plans are? “He never took his hands off the reins I don’t think. He will go around over 1500m in a fortnight.” Pitman said. He also added that he bought him less than a year ago as a tried horse and thought he was an excellent buy from day one. Michael said the horse has always had great form on good tracks and can run exceptional times in fast run races. The plan with El Chico is to keep the horse going and look at some races over a little more ground near the back end of the carnival, and it’s interesting to note he has won from 1200m to 2000m and importantly Chris Munce is keen to keep his association with the son of Stravinsky.

This weekend we will see a horse he has a lot of time for and I have to admit after I have done my replays, he is a fair dinkum horse- Milo. This is a son of Coat’s Choice (Redoute’s choice- Coat) Lee Freedman trained who I knew little about but Michael told me his oldest progeny are 3 years old and are starting to make their mark, including a couple of stakes winners. Pitman has a few of the youngsters and says they are all nice types. Milo has won four of his six starts and was unlucky in his last race when it was reported he was galloped on.

Michael said “He is potentially the best horse I have trained.” That is a big wrap from a guy with his experience. He added the original plan was to aim at the Queensland Guineas but he missed a race and a trial and the guineas has come around a little quick and they may be looking at the sunshine coast guineas instead. Milo has also pleased them enough to be competitive first up but will appreciate a bit more ground into his prep.

After watching the replay’s of Milo I am excited to see him step out and class will get him a long way. I also just want to say that I love the kiwi’s coming over and I feel they really make our carnival what it is today. Guy’s like Michael are a real asset to the racing industry and we should be wrapped to have them here. I will definitely catch up with him again over the carnival as he is a wealth of knowledge and a bloody good bloke too!