Day At The Track

Classie Brigade set for Cups double

09:34 AM 02 Jan 2017 NZDT
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Classie_Brigade_birdcage.jpg
Classie Brigade
Classie Brigade is the one to beat in the $30,000 McLarens Transport/RD Petroleum Central Otago Trotting Cup at Omakau on Monday on the strength of a record win in the Ashburton Cup last Monday.
 
Classie Brigade only won the Ashburton Cup narrowly from his stablemates Maverick and Ears Burning but his time of 3.58.3 for the 3200m was 1.2sec inside the race record set by Four Starzzz Flash in 2012.
 
Another pointer to Classie Brigade at Omakau is that Four Starzzz Flash won the CO Cup a week later. Ears Burning is again in the field, giving Weedons trainer Nigel McGrath a strong hand. McGrath and Blair Orange, who drove Classie Brigade, combined to win another two races at Motukarara on Thursday.
 
McGrath had to scratch Maverick at Omakau.
 
“He (Maverick) has a bit of a cough,’’ said McGrath.“The other two are both really well.”
 
McGrath has replaced the blinds on Classie Brigade with sliding blinds in the hope that the 4-year-old will finish the race off better.
 
“I was just not happy with the way he came off the back of Maverick at Ashburton.”
 
Dexter Dunn, who drove Four Starzzz Flash in his Ashburton and C0 Cup wins, is aboard Captain Dolmio on Monday. Captain Dolmio was far from disgraced when second to Acolyte in the Gore Trotting Cup on Tuesday.
 
He was given little respite when attempting to lead for the last 1000m of 2700m in blustery conditions after starting from 30m. The 2600m (mobile) of the CO Cup is ideal for Captain Dolmio, who won over the distance in 3.07.7 at Addington in April. He won there in 3.11.5 in November.
 
The track record at Omakau is 3.10 set by Quick As a Trick (now in Australia) in the C0 Cup last year.
 
Woodend Beach trainers Greg and Nina Hope, who have won two of the last three CO Cups with Jason Rulz, have Mossdale Conner in contention. Ricky May, who drove Jason Rulz, is back on Mossdale Conner, who worked hard early when sixth in the Ashburton Cup. The Hope stable have won the group one National Trot with Quite A Moment and six races at the Westport and Reefton meetings in the past week.
 
Costa Del Magnifco and Robyn’s Bad Boy are chances for longer odds. Costa Del Magnifico  was having his first race for three and a half months when he finished sixth the Wairio Cup from a 40m handicap on December 17.
 
Robyn’s Bad Boy, who won in 2.54.7 for 2400m (mobile) at Winton last month was disappointed for a run at his last start.
 
The star trotter Master Lavros is a standout in free-for-all on Monday. Master Lavros resumed racing after a 12 month lay-off with a superb win in a ffa at Addington on December 23 after going off stride and losing some 50m at the start. The winner of two Dominion Handicaps, a Rowe Cup and New Zealand Trotting Championship, Master Lavros looks a class above his five rivals.
 
Phil’s Gift, the other open class acceptor and last start winner, has been scratched when showing soreness, leaving trainer Phil Williamson with Father Christmas, Monty Python and Springbank Eden in the field.
 
Bet of the day: Master Lavros.
Longshot: Costa Del Magnifico (race 10).
 
Tayler Strong
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