Scapolo is the clear topweight for Sunday’s Poverty Bay Cup.

Talented Matamata galloper Wide Awake will return to the central districts this weekend and shoot for another Cup, Sunday’s $30,000 Ben Holden Fencing Poverty Bay Cup.

The Savabeel gelding has won four of his 19 starts to date, headed by a smart victory in last season’s $20,000 Woodville Cup.

Wide Awake was based in the South Island in the spring and performed well, running fourth in his first two appearances before a win in late October, a fourth on the opening day of the New Zealand Cup carnival and a dead-heat for second on the last day.

Trainer Jamie Richards has given Wide Awake two trials to prepare him for Sunday’s 1600-metre Rating 82 event, lining up over 1000 metres at Matamata on January 22 and 1200 metres at Te Aroha last week.

“He’s coming up nicely and his trials have been good,” Richards told The Informant. “I’m happy with his progress.”

Richards is less happy with the weights for Saturday’s race, with the 98-rated Scapolo having a significant effect on the scale.

“Having Scapolo in there really compresses the rest of the weights and makes things a little bit more difficult for us,” he said. “But we’ll give it a go and see what happens.”

Trained by Kevin Myers, Scapolo has won 20 races and more than $800,000 in prize-money. He is a multiple Group winner and has been Group One placed.

Scapolo will be joined in Sunday’s field by his stablemate Chic, who has been a strong performer this season with a win and six placings from 10 appearances. She was a strong-finishing third in the Wairarapa Cup last start.

Pasabahce goes into Sunday’s race on the back of an impressive victory over Pop Star Princess and Pretty To Sea in a 1400-metre Rating 82. That was at Tauranga, where the daughter of Shocking has scored four of her eight career victories. Pasabahce was a close third behind Lady Guiness and Tavigarde in this race last year.

Monarch Chimes is better known for his feats over jumps, but ran a strong second on the flat at Ellerslie in November – beating Prince Jabeel, who later won the City of Auckland Cup and placed in the Wellington Cup.

Away from the races since finishing outside the placings in the New Zealand Cup, Monarch Chimes is building towards an Australian jumping campaign. He had a day at the races at Te Rapa last Saturday.

“All roads lead to the ’Bool (Warrnambool),” co-trainer Emma-Lee Browne tweeted. “First outing this prep for Monarch Chimes, Te Rapa races. Stood in the tie-ups and wondered why he wasn’t allowed to run in the 2000-metre Group One!”