Day At The Track

Superstar trotting mare back in work

03:00 PM 31 Jul 2014 NZST
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Habibti - Winning the NZ Trotting Derby

It never takes long in harness racing for a horse to be forgotten when its not racing every week.

People move on quickly and focus on what is racing.

Habibti 1:56.5T ($283,007) falls squarely into that group as the forgotten superstar of trotting in Australasia.

The daughter of Love You had an amazing 3 year old season last year in which she won The New Zealand Trotting Stakes (Group 1), New South Wales Derby (Group 1), New South Oaks (Group 1) and the Victorian Oaks (Group 1) amongst her nine wins.

She accounted for Blitzthemcalder, Sheemon, Spidergirl and Royal Aspirations amonst others during the season.

Coming back early as a 4 year old, Habibti jumped straight in the deep end and took on Australia's best trotters in Melbourne.

The best win was undoubtedly in the Dullard Cup (Group One) where she accounted for Keystone Del, My High Expectations and Aleppo Midas amongst others.

Returning to New Zealand, Habibti just started to show signs that all the racing and traveling was taking its toll on her.

Trainer/ driver David Butt convinced the owners to miss all the rich plums on offer and give the mare a well deserved break with a view to her coming back bigger and better at five.

Prior to that Habibti was served and conceived to top trotting sire Majestic Son and the embryo was transferred to a surrogate mare who is due to foal later in the year.

After a lengthy spell Habibti returned to the Butt barn in early May and she is on track to return to the trials in September with a view to being ready for Cup week at Addington.

Thought is being given to another embryo transfer early in the new season with Angus Hall and Andover Hall the main sires in consideration.

To add further to Habibti's value as a future broodmare is the emergence of her full sister Habibti Ivy who was 11 seconds under the previous New Zealand record for 2400 meters from a stand when she qualified for trainer Paul Nairn in 3:09.5 at Ashburton on Tuesday 29th July.

On that run, Habibti Ivy will be a serious player in the 3 year old classics next season.

Meanwhile Habibti only needs to reproduce her early 4 year old form to once again become a serious contender in all the major trotting races next season.

After looking after Habibti's welfare so well in the last twelve months, David Butt and the ownership group deserve to reap the rewards of their patience over the next twelve months with this outstanding mare.

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