Peak, who is one of three trotters brought in by the Butt brothers from Europe, impressed driver Anthony Butt when easily putting away a handy bunch of 4 or more win trotters at the Ashburton trials today.
In what was his first ever go from a standing start, the seven-year-old chestnut entire made a safe beginning, before showing a good turn of foot, wheeling off sectionals of 57.0 and 27.9 to win by 1 & ½ lengths over Dixie Commando and Flying Isa.
“He is probably one of the nicest trotters I have driven,” stated Butt. “He is incredibly well gaited and has such a smooth action. It’s like driving a Roll Royce,” he added.
Butt has also been very impressed with the temperament of the former Denmark Derby winner.
“He has lovely manners and a great mouth on him. He travelled beautifully on the bit the whole way today.”
“He also has a lot of presence about him and is a very athletic type,” Butt enthused.
Peak is set to have his first New Zealand start in the Ashburton Trotters’ Flying Mile on Monday, and while Butt admits it will be a tough ask racing the open class horses fresh-up, he is confident Peak will be competitive.
“It is probably soon enough for him, but we want him to have a run under his belt before the Cup meeting, so Monday looks the best option.
Butt said that he has done everything they have asked for so far and that his heart-rate was good after the trial, which indicates he is fit and ready to go.
Peak will get his first taste on mile racing on Monday, having predominately raced over longer distances in Sweden, but the mobile gate is something he knows all about.
“From what we have seen of his videos he can absolutely fly the gate, so that should be a big asset come Monday.
Butt said if all goes well, it is likely Peak will start in both the Trotting Free-For-All and the Dominion Handicap.
Also making his ‘Down-Under’ debut at today’s trials was fellow European import Kvintet Avenger, and while he only finished fifth, Butt was also happy with his effort.
“He is a fat wee fella, who doesn’t miss an oat so he is sure to get better with a few runs under his belt,” said Butt. He really just blew out the last wee bit, but that was to be expected as he is still a bit behind the other guy fitness wise,” he added.
Kvintet Avenger will trial a couple more times, before kicking off his New Zealand career during the Cup meeting.
Meanwhile, champion filly Adore Me also resumed in fine fashion at the trials today, and after losing 25 metres at the start, proved too strong for an open class field including Sleepy Tripp, Mah Sish, Jimmy Johnstone, Fly Like An Eagle, Jason Rulz, and Highview Tommy.
The virtually unbeaten filly, paced the 2400m in 3-03.5, with slick sectionals of 56.1 & 26.4.
She, like Peak, will resume at Ashburton on Monday.
By Mitchell Robertson