Day At The Track

Bigger, stronger and Classier

07:59 AM 26 Nov 2016 NZDT
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Classie Brigade
Nigel McGrath is prepared to take a bit of the blame for the first up performance of Classie Brigade during Cup Week.
The promising four-year-old was a, at first glance, disappointing fifth behind Chase The Dream, but his Weedon’s trainer was keen to sweep it under the rug and move on.
“I’ll take a bit of the blame for that, he was probably a little under done,” McGrath said.
“We went there with only one trial and they ran a super quick time and he was just left short a bit.
“But he has trained on super since, and that run has really tidied him up.”
That bodes well for Saturday when McGrath chucks the entire on the truck and treks south to Geraldine for the $18,500 Geraldine Cup on the grass track at Orari.
One of only a few horses last season who was capable of getting close to a rampant Lazarus, the now four-year-old has been earmarked for big things this season but does face a strong line up today.
“His form from last season looks pretty good now,” McGrath said.
“He will get better with racing under his belt too, and you would think if we can get back to where we were six months ago that he should be in for a good summer.
“What he does next will depend a lot on what he does this weekend, the Green Mile and the Ashburton Cup are both on the radar but there is a chance of going to Auckland, I’m going to wait until he’s raced before we make the decision.”
The son of Bettor’s Delight and great mare Trigirl Brigade has previous form on grass tracks having won at Methven early on in his career so the green top of the Orari course should provide no problems.
Jimmy Curtin will step up to take the drive on the stallion with regular driver, Ricky May electing to stick with the Greg and Nina Hope trained, Mossdale Conner. Curtin has the task of getting Classie Brigade to step away from behind the barrier strand for the first time in his career.
“He’s had a bit of practice at home but nothing at workouts or trials.
“I think he will be ok though, he’s a pretty sensible horse, so I wouldn’t think it will worry him too much.”
McGrath also has Maverick in the race but concedes it will be hard for him off the back mark.
“He’s crying out for some relief from the handicapper, we are on the same mark as Mossdale Conner.
“At the moment he is really well, but we just need a bit of a let up to make us really competitive.”
The Geraldine Cup has drawn a cracking field with Brilliant Strike, Mossdale Conner and Quick As A Trick all coming out of Cup Week Group One features.
One who might slip under the guard is noted grass track performer, Johnny Eyre.
Fourth in the Methven Cup behind Smolda, the Mike Brown trained pacer looks tailormade for an assignment like this.
Super Selector - Matt Markham
Race 1: Trouble Giero, Chevron Express, Prince George, Time For Diamonds
Race 2: Beach Skipper, Franco Tmick, Dream To Reality, Bettor To Be Tricky
Race 3: Augusta, Handsome Hero, Run Boy Run, Likely Jereme
Race 4: Franco Texas, Buster Brady, Superfecta, Torrid Bromac
Race 5: Young Stranger, Everybody Knows, All Star Angus, Gershwin
Race 6: Myidealson, Magical Mitch, Rozzano, Honour The Bet
Race 7: Ready To Fire, Alta Teresa, Le Vado, My Blue Heaven
Race 8: Ruakapuka Ruler, Christopher Banner, Ariadne Lavra, Crackabella
Race 9: Johnny Eyre, Mossdale Conner, Classie Brigade, Quick As A Trick
Race 10: Amaretto Sun, Harrysul, Valmagne, Belle’s Son
Race 11: Rocknroll Legend, Real Torque, Mrs Browns Boys. Mysistersastar
Best Bet: Augusta (Race 3)
Value: Johnny Eyre (Race 9)
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