Day At The Track

Fortino does best in North Eastern Pacing Cup

12:17 PM 08 Jan 2017 NZDT
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Fortino delivered a near career-best effort
Peter Staples Photo

Fortino has earned a reputation as being quite a moody horse with his trainer Todd Rattray once describing the harness racing gelding as "a good horse with a mind of his own".

But at Scottsdale last Friday the gelding was on his best behaviour and delivered a near career-best effort to win the North-Eastern Pacing Cup over 2692 metres.

Fortino was expected to lead but when that position was taken by Itz Gemmas Delight Rattray was forced to try and find a spot in the one-out line and he ended by one-out-two-back which was foreign territory for the horse.

But it may have been a blessing in disguise because when Rattray decided to get moving a lap fro home he had a lapful of horse.

Fortino cruised to the leader as they neared the home turn with Black Centurian poised to pounce after being drawn into the race on the back of Fortino.

But when Rattray called on Fortino for the big effort the five-year-old son of Sutter Hanover dug deep and hit the line a metre clear of Black Centurian with Itz Gemmas Delight four metres astern and they streeted the rest with Cats And Dogs 24 metres away fourth.

"I was really pleased with this win because Fortino is not your most genuine pacer," Rattray said.

"I thought he would have led because he is such a good beginner from a stand but to race out of his comfort zone and still win was great.

"He was travelling super going down the back the last time but he often does that an stops but this time he was really strong at the end.

"I am hoping he has turned the corner because his past few runs have been very consistent and that's very pleasing because he does have ability."

Rattray will now aim Fortino at the Burnie Cup next Sunday and depending on the outcome of that event he will progress to the rescheduled St Marys Cup.

Peter Staples

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