Day At The Track

Changeover justifies NZ Cup favouritism

06:16 PM 26 Sep 2008 NZST
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Changeover looked every inch a New Zealand Cup winner when he easily justified favouritism in the $25,000 Spring Cup Free For All Pace (2200 metres) at Alexandra Park tonight Friday 26 September.

Changeover looked every inch a New Zealand Cup winner when he easily justified favouritism in the $25,000 Spring Cup Free For All Pace (2200 metres) at Alexandra Park tonight Friday 26 September.

David Butcher took the early NZ Cup favourite straight to the front and dictated all the terms in the Continental Car Services sponsored feature which would play a major role in fitting horses for the $1.2 Christchurch Casino NZ Cup on 11 November.

Backed down to surprisingly cramped odds ($1.50 win),, the son of In The Pocket was able to call all the shots and get away with a quiet first up exertion that underlined the good progress he has made in his latest preparation.

Gotta Go Cullen could at times come off Changeover's back last season but he was unable to do so tonight.

Last season's Auckland Cup winner and Four Year Old Pacer of the Year tried hard but never looked like picking up Changeover and was eventually cut out of second by the winner's in-form stable mate Awesome Armbro, who dashed along the inside markers.

The decisive manner with which Changeover drew first blood on the northern "Grand Circuit'' fully suggested he was poised for a productive spring and summer circuit.

Although Gotta Go Cullen would derive immense benefit from tonight's exertion, it may later be left to freakish southerner Auckland Reactor to offer Changeover most opposition.

The clash of Changeover and Auckland Reactor may come in the $300,000 Woodlands NZ FFA at Addington on Show Day.

Auckland reactor will contest the Junior FFA on Cup Day.

"He has told us how forward he is and he looks simply fantastic,'' Mark Purdon said earlier this week of Auckland Reactor, unchallenged and unbeaten last season when he was a unanimous choice for NZ Pacer of the Year.

Monkey King was slow early but ran on solidly for fourth tonight..

Changeover paced the 2200 metres (stand) in 2:46.73, a mile rate of 1:59. He paced his last mile in 1:57.3, home in 56.7 and 28.6.

Don Wright

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