Ever since his first appearance at the harness racing trials this season, the Tim Butt trained two year old Field Marshal has turned heads with his combination of good looks and raw ability.
After a series of impressive runs at the trials, Field Marshal was thrown in the deep end with a debut run in the New Zealand Welcome Stakes against the best two year olds in New Zealand.
Try as he might, Field Marshal didn't have the ringcraft that night and appeared all at sea for driver Anthony Butt.
Given a month gap before he was next produced at Timaru, Field Marshal comfortably accounted for a maiden field at Timaru in a 2:00.6 mile rate for the 2000 meters and looked to be back on track.
A week later Field Marshal lined up again at Oamaru against older horses.
Drawing nine at the barrier in the 2000 meters mobile , he was three wide until the 700 meter before finding the death seat.
From there he fought like a tiger to run a meritorious second to the smart Mako Banner.
What made the run even better was that the 2000 meters was cut out in 2:25.4, a mile rate of 1:56.9 with closing sectionals of 56.7 and 27.7.
After such a hard run, Field Marshal did not race again for five weeks until he went around at Rangiora in a 2000 meters mobile.
Sent straight to the front from a handy draw, Field Marshal was pressured in front the whole way which told in the last 100 as he was swamped by a couple of swoopers.
The time for the 2000 meters mobile in bitterly cold winter conditions was 2:26.7, a mile rate of 1:58 which was a top effort by Field Marshal as a two year old against older horses.
Sent North after that run for a Breeders Crown heat, Field Marshal had a “ walkover” win as he was the only eligible horse nominated.
In preparation for tonights race at Cambridge he had a run at the workouts on Saturday and scored a stylish four length win in 2:46.9 for the 2200 meters mobile, a mile rate of 2:02 with closing sectionals of 56.2 and 27.4.
It showed that Field Marshal even from his draw of eight tonight in the John Makgill Memorial Pace is the horse they all have to beat.
Not only is Field Marshal by the top sire Art Major but he is also from the top mare Foreal.
Foreal was one of the best mares of her time in Australasia, taking a record of 1:57.4 on her way to winning $664,800 in a stellar career.
Safely through tonight, Field Marshal may yet head to Australia for the Breeders Crown semi finals in August.
If he was to make the trip to Australia for the Breeders Crown, Field Marshal has all the credentials to be a serious contender.
Field Marshall seen here winning at Timaru