Day At The Track

Big Hughie ready for red

04:45 PM 11 May 2017 NZST
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Hughie Green
Hughie Green is a leading chance in the $20,500 Flashing Red at Albion Park this Saturday night.
Dan Costello Photo

Giant pacer Hughie Green can bounce back this weekend. The former New Zealand harness racing star tasted defeat for the first time on local soil last start when triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova outstayed him at Albion Park two weeks ago.

Avonnova beat Hughie Green by a half head margin in a time of 1:52.9.

Now the hulking pacer is looking at redemption when he starts in the $20,500 Flashing Red at Albion Park this Saturday night.

It’s a test on many levels.

Switching from the mobile start sprint scamper to the marathon staying test run from standing start conditions.

And coming off a crushing defeat.

But trainer/driver John Cremin isn’t perturbed.

“That was his first true open class test in Brisbane and we got beaten by a great horse, a horse that could’ve won an Inter Dominion with luck a few years back and the time was much better than his previous best in New Zealand. It’s always disappointing to get beat but we move on and aim to bounce back.” Cremin said.

Hughie Green is no stranger to the stand-start; in fact, this will be his 9th start from the tapes this weekend.

And he’s a three times winner under these conditions which gives Cremin confidence.

“He’s a big horse but he’s a natural pacer so I’m confident he’ll make a safe beginning, I haven’t drilled him at home with barrier practice because sometime that makes them get sick of it very quickly. The fact he starts of a 10m handicap will allow him to follow through quite naturally.

“It’s a solid field and it’s a well handicapped race, I’ve got respect for all of my rivals but I think the front-line are down on their best form so that may provide an opportunity to get handy pretty quickly. Luck will play key role but I’m confident he can measure up.

“He’s trained on well and we continue to build towards the winter carnival features, these races are obvious targets and we’re keen to chase the better prizemoney events. The Redcliffe Cup in the coming weeks is another target we’re considering.”

The Gr.3 $30,500 Redcliffe Gold Cup is scheduled for June 9.

Obvious targets at Albion Park in July include the Gr.2 $50,500 Sunshine Sprint on July 8 while the Gr.1 $200,500 Blacks A Fake the following week is the main mission.

“We’re very lucky to be training a horse like this and we’re very excited about the coming months, he’s always had a massive boom on him but at the end of the day, he is only a horse but maybe he’s not the star people think he should be.

“He’ll be more than competitive in anything he starts in but like most, he’ll need luck going his way, that’s just the way it is nowadays.”

The Queensland winter carnival officially starts on June 2 and reaches its climax on July 15.

Chris Barsby

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