Day At The Track

Alta Christiano is primed for starring role

04:56 AM 17 May 2012 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Paul Kerr
Paul Kerr
File Photo

Ohoka conditioner Paul Kerr has bad news for rival harness racing trainers hoping Alta Christiano was flattened by the juvenile pacing run of the season last Saturday (May 12).

Because he says the exceptional youngster will be even better in tomorrow night's $180,000 Sires' Stakes Final at Addington.

The freshman sprint is one of two Groups Ones on a programme that also contains the New Zealand Oaks, with most of the big names in both backing up from similar races last Saturday.

But even in a day of electrifying performances, Alta Christiano stood out in defeat last week.

The previously unbeaten colt was three wide in a sizzling last 1000m and still only just went down to Bit Of A Legend, who enjoyed the passing lane, and Five Card Draw, who is a race rival tomorrow.

Bit Of A Legend is bizarrely missing tomorrow night as he didn't contest a Sires' Stakes heat, leaving Five Card Draw the horse to catch as he is drawn to lead again.

But trainer Kerr is under no doubts Alta Christiano is the best juvenile pacer in the country and that he will show it. "He was massive last week and that only proved what I already thought, that he is the best," said Kerr.

"He is something special and the best part is he is very, very strong and even though he had a hard run last week he didn't turn a hair.

"He has trained on really well and I think he will be even better this week, while I think some of the others might be worse."

So brave was Alta Christiano last Saturday he might be able to sit parked and still win tonight, as long as he doesn't have to work too hard to get there.

"We are going to be settling back and moving at the halfway stage and I think that will suit him."

That is a hard way to win a Group One race but Alta Christiano could be good enough to do it, with $2.20 being a realistic line in the sand for punters.

The swoopers who quinellaed last Saturday's Nevele R Fillies Final look set to dominate the NZ Oaks from the front end of the field tonight.

O Baby came from last to win, courtesy of a cart home on the back of Elusive Chick last Saturday but the pair are likely so start from barriers two and three tonight.

Elusive Chick deserves a big win after being luckless this year but is perhaps more potent following the speed, which leaves trainer-driver Anthony Butt with a big decision early.

If he stays in front he is likely to be pressured but he can't risk handing that role to O Baby as she has top-flight stablemates Twist And Twirl and Dancing Diamonds in the field and could take a trail on them.

Twist And Twirl has been the best of this crop and had her excuses when attacked in front last week but she has copped the worst possible draw for a free-going stayer.

If she gets out to $5 or $6 she is worth taking a chance on, in case the tactical cards fall her way.

by Brooke HENDERSON

Alta Christiano winning two starts back at Addington (march 23) in the 21st Graduate worth $30,000:

 

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: