Day At The Track

Eamon Maguire steps up in Flyng Stakes

08:31 AM 23 Oct 2018 NZDT
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Eamon Maguire,Harness racing
Eamon Maguire winning the Flying Stakes
All Stars photo

The confused puzzle that is the New Zealand Trotting Cup still has plenty of missing pieces after Eamon Maguire's win in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton yesterday.

The Harness Jewels winner confirmed what most punters already suspected, that with his manner and speed he'll be a factor in the $800,000 classic at Addington on November 13.

He stepped quickly to the lead then trailed stablemate Dream About Me and the pair surged clear of their rivals as leaders so often do at Ashburton, with Eamon Maguire just having too much sharp speed for the older mare. Alta Orlando was a huge third after starting from the unruly ahead of Star Galleria, who ran on well for fourth after a brief gallop at the start, and then the expensive failure Ultimate Machete.

He galloped wildly early and settled last, giving himself and punters no chance.

The Cup favourite made strong ground for fifth but his manners are making him a hard horse to back with confidence. In three starts this season he has yet to race a place.

Eamon Maguire is good enough to win the Cup but 3200m may not be his ideal trip, Dream About Me looks vulnerable to speedsters divebombing her and Alta Orlando is basically off a handicap in the great race because he is unruly.

Star Galleria looks to be tracking in the right direction, then after Ultimate Machete it is hard to make a case for any of the other beaten brigade yesterday winning the Cup.

Aussie raider Chicago Bull is likely to race at Alexandra Park on Friday against last season's Cup runner-up Jacks Legend but with a small field likely it will be interesting to see what value that race has as a form guide.

The other Aussie challenger, Tiger Tara, was impressive winning at Menangle on Saturday night and with so few weak points edges his way closer to Cup favouritism.

Add in the likes of Thefixer, who has had a slight setback, and last week's Methven Cup winner Cruz Bromac and the Cup has a lot more winning chances that we are used to.

As efficient at Eamon Maguire was yesterday the performance of the day was undoubtedly comeback trotter Marcoola in the Flying Mile.

He equalled the national all-comers mile record with a 1:54.5 grinding effort over the top of Great Things Happen, who looked home at the 200m mark after leading.

Marcoola looks bigger and stronger after his break, taking pole position for the open class trotters.


Michael Guerin

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