Rankings are out for the New Zealand Trotting Cup on November 12 at Addington and there are more than a few familiar names on the list.
Established stars Im Themightyquinn and Mah Sish have been joined by dual Cup winner Terror To Love and rising star of the sport Christen Me at the head of TAB’s fixed odds all-in market.
Then there is the Vic Cup winner Caribbean Blaster.
Forgotten in the betting for his biggest win, he has again been cast aside as the longest priced chance ($11) of the big guns.
But the superstar from Long Forrest is back in work and ready to stamp his imprimatur on the Grand Circuit scene this season according to trainer Andy Gath.
“He’s going to trial Monday night at Melton and he’s not far off the races. He’s very well and we’re all just itching to get him back and see what he can do,” Gath said.
“The plan is to go (to New Zealand) again, we’ll learn a lot from last time we went and be better prepared. He’s had 12 months of racing on the Grand Circuit as well so he’ll be a better horse for it.
“We’ll just assess at the time how he is going, obviously you don’t just go there, you have to be at your optimum best and if he is then he’ll be over there again.”
With Caribbean Blaster at his best there is likely to be a duo of stable runners on the plane to the Shaky Isles.
And the build-up to sending the Gath’s best trotter, Elegant Image, across the ditch continues at Tabcorp Park Melton Friday night.
“He was probably only 50/50 to go around in that race he won a few weeks ago, we weren’t quite sure where he was at fitness-wide, but we took the chance and he performed very well,” he said.
“Since that run he’s done well and he is a quality horse, he’s always been up with the best juveniles and he has progressed to be one of the best open class trotters there is.
“From that draw you’d think he’d be pretty hard to beat.”
Given he only had eight runs last term, all in Group class, there is no doubt the team believe he has improved by racing the best horses around Australia.
A solid second in the inaugural Great Southern Star series last march, Gath has again flagged the second running as a long term target for the son of S J’s Photo.
Elegant Image has been marked the $2 favourite for the True Roman Free For All this Friday night by HRV form expert Jason Bonnington.
To view the full rankings for the NZ Trotting Cup simply click here.
by Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)