Day At The Track

A brilliant brat and Harness Million action

01:23 PM 01 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Addington,Harness racing
Addington Raceway plays host to a number of feature races on Friday night

Premier harness racing hits Addington once again on Friday night with a number of feature events across both gaits.

The richest race of the night appears at 6.38pm with the running of the NZB Standardbred Harness Million for fillies. La Rosa and Town Echo (now with the M Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen stable) would appear to hold sway over the final result but there’s also a North Island presence in the form of Platinum who has sound exposed form. The forgotten runner might come from the Robert Dunn barn in Passion And Power. A filly who impressed at Alexandra Park early in her career but has since been hard to follow from a punting point of view recently. The Art Major filly will have options from the #3 draw.      

The next “Harness Million” final is the trotting feature with a limited but classy field assembled. Leaf Stride remains unbeaten after his efforts last week but comes up with a wide barrier draw. The Greg and Nina Hope runners Eurokash and Franco Jorik are both capable too although their manners left a little to be desired last time around and would need to be present if they’re to be a factor by the time the last furlong is run. Son Of Patrick, trained by the astute Barry Purdon, scared them all after sitting 3 wide over the last 600m last week and a similar performance could see the son of Father Patrick claim the title. A select but competitive field in a race that will be about behaviour and mid-race tactics.

The 7th on the card, the Stevie Golding -Harcourts Canterbury Park Cup is, on paper at least, the most  clear cut of the features, it sees Sundees Son loom as the one they’ll have to beat with Dominion Handicap winner Habibi Inta making his first race day appearance for some time. Woodstone, fresh off a sound performance in behind One Apollo at Banks Peninsula and Majestic Man fill this field out and may offer value alongside the enigma of the race in Matua Tana. His late gallops, which seem to be all too common, proving heartbreaking for punters at times.

The features on the card are rounded off by the Lamb & Hayward Canterbury Classic at Group 2 level with the race set to be run at 8.38pm. 

All eyes, you’d suggest, will be on Self Assured.

The All Stars trained star is proving half brat half everything you want a pacer to be this time in mixing early gallops with spellbinding late bids for victory. His latest run in the New Brighton Cup was marred by an early gallop which effectively saw him take no part in the affair. His prior run being a sublime win in the Maurice Holmes Vase, a win he had no right to claim after once again getting things wrong when you’re meant to get things right, that is, behind the standing start tapes.

Open class races are seldom won by mistake makers, at the moment Self Assured is proving he’s good enough to overcome such issues, but only up to a point.

With that in mind other stables will fancy an upset with Classie Brigade, known for his love of a standing start, well drawn to once again dictate mid-race tempo from his handy #4 draw. His Hannon Memorial victory a blueprint as to how he can continue to taste group glory going forward. Spankem, who has been seen doing sound work at recent workouts and trials will have his admirers alongside A G’s White Socks, who , with further improvement from his Hannon Memorial run, could provide a price and a relative shock to New Zealand Cup markets if able to pull off a victory. The presence of U May Cullect another positive for the meeting and field as the Southerner brings his supporters to the big smoke once again.  

A night of depth, some real class, and a few talking points once it’s all done and dusted.


Ben McMillan  

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