Day At The Track

Cardigan Boko is ready to fire

08:49 AM 29 Sep 2016 NZDT
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Cardigan Boko and connections after winning at Gloucester Park 30th October 2015
Cardigan Boko and connections after winning at Gloucester Park 30th October 2015
Paceway Photography

Swedish-bred trotter Cardigan Boko has recovered from a life-threatening injury and illness and will reappear after an 11-month harness racing absence when he contests the Book Your Melbourne Cup Lunch at Gloucester Park Trotters Mobile at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

And trainer Clive Dalton is enthusiastically declaring that the stylish black stallion by Varenne will prove mighty hard to beat on his return to action.

“He hasn’t raced for almost 12 months and isn’t quite 100 per cent fit yet,” Dalton said. “But he is flying and is right on top of his game. I never say a horse is a certainty, but he’s a world-class animal.”

Soon after Cardigan Boko notched his 16th win from just 25 starts, winning easily from Prince Eddie and Heez Speedy Gonzalez at Gloucester Park last October, he cracked an off-side pastern and then got colic which developed into a twisted bowel which required surgery.

“He is lucky to be alive, really,” said Dalton, who said that he would advise Chris Lewis to make use of the horse’s brilliant gate speed from out wide at barrier seven.      

Cardigan Boko will clash with Sunnys Little Whiz, who has scored effortless wins for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett and driver Kiara Davies at her first four starts in Western Australia.

The New Zealand-bred Sunnys Little Whiz has not been extended in her WA victories in which her average winning margin has been three lengths. She will start from barrier five and Davies will be anxious to steal a march on her rivals by dashing Sunnys Little Whiz to an early lead.

Adding further interest to the race will be the return of Armed Force, who has impressed in winning at nine of his 22 WA starts for trainer Gary Hall sen. Armed Force, who will be having his first start for three months, will start from the outside (No. 9) on the front line.

Apart from Cardigan Boko, Dalton will be represented by Ropeburn, Lightning Joy and Nico Serrano.

Ropeburn, driven by Michael Grantham, ran a strong trial for Friday night’s race when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win from Reminder Call and Xen on over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night.

Ken Casellas

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