Day At The Track

HRNZ media notes for Friday December 28th

05:11 AM 28 Dec 2012 NZDT
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Here's the news from the midst of a crazy holiday harness racing schedule:

  • I Can Doosit defeat creates interest in National Trot – obviously next Monday’s Auckland Trotting Club meeting is a big one for the industry with four Group & Listed races among a whopping 13-race card. The National Trot (G1) would have seemed a formality for I Can Doosit before Cambridge but now trainers see renewed hope; rival horses a chink in the great horse’s armour. The fields are out for the 31st at Alexandra Park and though some fields are light on numbers there is a great depth of quality about those that are turning up. The PGG Wrightson 3YO pace will pit Bit Of A Legend against Classiesistar, Mista Mara, Arden Rooney and Five Card Draw. In Bit Of A Legend’s favour is his draw of four and also the fact that he has a penchant for the rich races with the two-year-old version of the race and a Breeders’ Crown Final already in his dossier.

  • Stig breaks record – the 1.55.2 mile trotted by Stig rewrote the record books. He lowered I Can Doosit’s record that was owned previously by Lyell Creek. In a remarkable, tumultuous and frustrating career connections are still able to enjoy their great warrior at 10 years of age and what a huge thrill for connections for the big Armbro Invasion. The win was number 17 for Stig in just 42 starts, spanning six seasons. His stake earnings sit at a very respectable $588k, which places in the top 10 of New Zealand trotters, all time.

  • Waikato Mile a bottler – back at Cambridge next week (Jan 4) we’ll see some exciting clashes. The feature mile will not disappoint. Take those in the Manukau Cup on Monday like Highview Tommy, Pembrook, Benny, Easy On The Eye and Bettor Dream. Factor in Auckland Reactor and Smolda and it promises to be some sort of race. A race at the same venue Smolda set his 1.52.1. There is potential for this time to be bettered, providing conditions play their part. Of course it was this race four years ago that helped launch Auckland Reactor’s star. He beat Monkey King in 1.53.5. The packed stands that night and his run of wins led to mainstream media acclaim.

  • Jimmy Johnstone wins at Gore – a lot of horses don’t make it back from Gore but Jimmy Johnstone will. His win in the Mataura Licensing Trust Gore Cup yesterday was one of the more impressive wins over recent weeks and franked the big opinion those close to him hold. Taking on a classy field for the race Jimmy found the front and repelled all challengers. It was a supremely confident drive by trainer John Hay who simply took no prisoners. Jimmy Johnstone will keep trekking around the southern summer circuit with the Roxburgh Cup likely to be his next target. Jimmy Johnstone is the best performed son (or daughter) of Nevele R stallion P-Forty-Seven. There have been plenty of nice types left by him but Jimmy Johnstone is a sure flagbearer for the stallion. He’s now won five from eight starts.

  • Terror To Love targets Northern Southland Cup – Southland’s Jamie Searle reported in the local paper and on stuff that the dual NZ Cup will resume in the Northern Southland Cup. A real coup for Southland racing. From there Terror To Love is likely to head to Addington for the Summer Cup before heading north for the NZ Inter-Dominion heat. There was some talk of Terror To Love taking on the Pelorus Classic and much to other 4 & 5YOs relief he’s trekking down a different path. The likes of Christen Me and Smolda are on a collision course there.

  • Dalgety still leads trainers’ premiership – Cran Dalgety still holds an eight-win advantage over the Mark Purdon stable in the trainers’ race. Despite a flying start to the season Dalgety wasn’t confident of holding on but we’re nearing the halfway stage of the season and Dalgety is going strongly with 48 wins. He’s well on track to rack up another ton this season (PB 113 last year). Remarkably Mark Purdon has 16 horses engaged at Auckland on New Year’s Eve. Cran has 13 horses entered in fields right now but they are scattered across the country.

  • Choise Achiever wins Cobram Cup – in just his second start in this Australian campaign the 2012 Hunter Cup winner got back that winning feeling in Cobram. He beat a handy field in the $25,000 race. His Hunter Cup defence is well and truly on.

  • Central Otago Cup attracts interesting nominations – Franco ledger heads the 12 nominations for the Group 3 race at Omakau on Jan 2. He along with Sleepy Tripp and Ashburton Cup winner Four Starzzz Flash look the star attractions for the race but it will be an interesting field. Many powerful Canterbury stables are heading south for the circuit. These trainers include; Dean Taylor, Robbie Holmes, Jamie Gameson, Robert Dunn, John Hay and Ken Barron.

  • Barron next to 1000 – it looks as though Ken Barron will be the next driver to 1000 wins in New Zealand with just 18 to go. Barron started driving in 1984/85, his first winner Morning Rise in November 1985 and of course now carves out a successful career training and selling horses too. Brother Clark isn’t too far away either. On 940 Clark could conceivably get there in little more than 20 months or so gauging by his current rate of success.
by Andrew MORRIS

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