Day At The Track

Harriet is hopeful

09:32 AM 09 Jun 2017 NZST
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Hopeful Harriet
HRNZ photo

In what could be considered one of the drop backs of the season, there’s only one serious concern for Hopeful Harriet ahead of her assignment at Nelson today.

And that concern is herself.

The dour little Regan Todd trained mare drops from a Group One Harness Jewels Diamond last Saturday to a Rating 50-65 event today on the opening day of the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s winter meeting and her driver Robbie Close is confident that will make her super competitive.

“We’ve just got to get the first bit right,” Close said of the stand start affair.

“It’s probably not so much the actual stand start, but she tends to get a little rough after 100 metres or so, but if we can get through that then we should be right in amongst it I would have thought.”

Beaten 25 lengths behind Piccadilly Princess last Saturday, Hopeful Harriet’s performance in the Group One was probably better than what it may have initially looked.

Close was more than happy with the effort too.

“She was going to run in the top five I think, but she got the speed wobbles around that last bend.

“So her effort actually looks a lot worse than it was.”

The pair have a good record when they travel to the top of the South Island having won the Marlborough Cup earlier this year and they’ve placed twice on the course before as well.

They meet an even field today with the in-form It’s All Over Now appearing to be one of their toughest opposition.

Close has a strong book of drives throughout the day including Hopeful Harriet but rated Terrier for John Bartlett as one of his better hopes.

“I would like to think Harriet will be my best chance, but Terrier is going good races without a lot of luck and I think with a bit more of that we can get a slice of that race.

“Sunny Bill wouldn’t be the worst either if he trotted all the way.”

He also drives debutant Lily Ducket, newcomer to the Regan Todd barn My Nikayla, Got A Beauty and Paul’s Verdict.


Selections by Matt Markham

Race 1: Mr Farenheit, Ali Lindenny, Girlz N Boys, Star Pride

Race 2: Boults On Fire, Beach Skipper, Rishi, Mister Slick

Race 3: J Nine, My Nikayla, Fear Rockn, Playingintheshadows

Race 4: Spondulicks, Theboyslightup, Chelsea Ella, Command Lustre

Race 5: Trouble Giero, Redwood Invasion, Jayceekay, Bacardi N Coke

Race 6: Takitimu Express, Bella Jones, Exceptional Man, Born Again Delight

Race 7: Gunpowder, Cullenz Diamond, Jakira, Terrier

Race 8: Benicio, Alpha Rock, Culley Backy, Bevan’s Cullen

Race 9: Hopeful Harriet, It’s All Over Now, Our Quinn, Emily Blunt

Race 10: Billy Badger, Ace High, Hypervelocity, English Rose

Best Bet: Billy Badger (Race 10)

Value: Hopeful Harriet (Race 9)

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