Having decided against a New Zealand Cup campaign, Hawke’s Bay horseman Paul Nelson is now targeting a start in the Counties Cup for Peso.

The Colombia gelding followed two open handicap seconds with victory in the Listed Jakkalberry Classic at Rotorua three weeks ago. One of those placings was a photo-finish result at the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival behind subsequent Feilding Cup winner Five To Midnight.

“We did consider heading down to Christchurch but after considering his place in the handicap we decided not to,” said Nelson, who races Peso in partnership with his wife Carol.

“If he was going to run in the New Zealand Cup he would have ended up equal topweight with 60 kilos. For a horse that has won just one open race that would have been too tough.

“It’s no big deal, we’ll wait until Counties and hope that with a different scale he’ll get in at a better weight.”

Next Saturday’s Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup is headed by the 91-rated Kevin Myers-trained Zentangle on 60kg, half a kilo above last Sunday’s Banks Peninsula Cup winner Major Tom. The favourite Felaar, rated just 69, will carry the minimum 53 kilos even if he wins tomorrow’s Metropolitan Trophy which has a penalty-free clause.

The track for tomorrow’s opening day of the carnival is rated Slow9 after 20mm of rain fell today in Christchurch on top of 18mm overnight.