Day At The Track

Forbury sire stakes heat should be a thriller

03:44 AM 06 Oct 2009 NZDT
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The sharp cutting edge of exciting Sires' Stakes harness racing will be evidenced in Dunedin on Thursday night 8 October when most of the Mainland's best 3 Year Old pacers will be on show in the third heat of the prestigious NRM backed series.

If the absence of Kotare Mach and Arnoux can be put aside, the $18,000 feature over a mobile 1700 metres could assume the complexion of a South Island Championship for horses of their age..

Harness racing fans could be excused for billing the race as something of a clash of the leading two establishments in Canterbury involved with the nurturing of talented young pacers.

Nigel McGrath, who has fashioned an outstanding record with youngsters in recent seasons, will pit his powerful two prong attack of Beaudiene Christian and Anvil's Best Ever against the overall dominant All Stars do of Glenalvon and Miracle Mach.

McGrath has a third string to his bow in the placed performer Leonidas.

Rangiora trainer Thomas Twidle has outstanding Live Dangerously (five wins) on hand while Tim White (Motu Crusader) and Peter Jones (Wee Brother) add more weight and presence to the field's quality.

North Canterbury trainer Peter Bagrie could hardly be counted out either with his race winner Code Red engaged in a race where it might be as hard to pick the favourite as the actual winner.

Miracle Mach was run down by Beaudiene Christian on grass at Motukarara on Sunday and was fourth in his debut behind stable mate Glenalvon, Code Red and Flyin Jazz at Timaru on 20 September.

Glenalvon was produced two times last season for a seventh and a fifth, respectively, in the Sapling Stakes (Ashburton) and Kindergarten Stakes (Wyndham).

Glenalvon's Timaru success was gained at his new season's debut before finishing fifth behind M J Fulham, Texas Typ, McDana and Myouri at Addington last Friday night.

Like many of his sire Christian Cullen's stock, Beaudiene Christian has improved with age and experience.

He issued a telling statement when he wore down favourite Miracle Mach on grass at Motukarara. He was twice placed behind last season's juvenile ace Smiling Shad at two.

Anvil's Best Ever enters calculations on the basis of his handy third to Kotare Mach and Arnoux, both missing on Thursday, in the second heat of the Series at Addington last Friday night.

Anvil's Best Ever was a creditable second to well performed Live Dangerously in his 3 Year Old debut beforehand at Timaru on 20 September.

Anvil's Best Ever took high ranking among last season's juveniles before suffering a serious early autumn ailment. McGrath has clearly nursed him back to his best. His ace draw will assist him on Thursday night.

As the winner of five of his 12 career starts (four this season) as well as three seconds, Live Dangerously is the most seasoned runner in the field worthy of wholesome respect despite his outside of the second line draw of 11.

Don Wright

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