Day At The Track

Besotted rushed down South for a reason

06:25 AM 06 Sep 2013 NZST
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Trish Dunell Photo

Ray Green has brought Besotted to Addington for one reason and one reason only – to qualify for the New Zealand Cup on November 12.

Fresh from his gutsy second behind Ideal Scott in the Breeders Crown Final at Melton on August 18, Besotted will now line up one of the favourites in Friday’s (September 13) $25,000 Maurice Holmes Vase. The winner will gain automatic entry into the great race on November 12.

“After Friday's race I will be taking him back to Auckland to prepare for the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park on September 20.

“With the big guns still nowhere to be seen, this is a good chance for us to gain automatic entry into the New Zealand Cup. I’m not saying he can win on Friday but it will be easier than say in a month's time.

“If you don’t put your horse out there you will never know where he is at. This will give us a very good gage,” Green said.

The 5-year-old American Ideal - Saturation gelding has drawn five of 10 in the Group Three event. It will be his third start at Addington after finishing fourth in the 2011 Sires Stakes Final behind Texican, Ideal Scott and Smiling Star.

He was also unplaced in Fly Like An Eagle’s New Zealand Derby at Addington last year.

“The track and the distance won’t bother him. He’s won twice over the distance and he seems really well within himself.

“He’s much stronger this campaign,” the Kumeu horseman said.

Friday’s race will be a 2600m stand. Besotted has had seven starts since resuming from a 12-month spell on June 14. He has won three of them – all at Alexandra Park.

“He would be the second best pacer I have trained after Sir Lincoln. He doesn’t have the same high speed as Sir Lincoln, especially when he leaves the gate.

“If he does have a weak point it is his gate speed,” Green said.

He said Besotted’s two placings in Australia last month had taken him to a new level.

“I don’t know how he will measure up against Friday’s Free-For-All, but one thing I do know is that he is ready to go a big race.

“There’s no Terror To Love or Christen Me to face up to. That’s why we are here,” Green stressed.

He believed the horse drawn one inside him – Franco Ledger was the pacer to beat.

“He’s a quality animal who has proven he can match it with the best. He finished second behind Terror To Love in the Jewels last start. Hamish (Hunter) will have him spot on,” Green said.

Friday’s runners boast 114 wins between them and more than $3.3m collectively in stakes. The only millionaire in the field is the Greg and Nina Hope trained Highview Tommy – who has won $415,653 more than second highest earner - Choise Achiever.

Besotted has won 10 of his 33 starts and placed in nine others for $144,012. He is now embarking on his fourth season of racing after qualifying at Alexandra Park in January 2011.

He is owned by Lincoln Farms, was bred by Woodlands Stud and will again be driven by former (1991) world champion reinsman, Maurice McKendry.

By Duane Ranger

Courtesy of HRNZ

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