Harness racing can be really frustrating at times when you know horses have ability to burn but they are having problems translating that into performances on the racetrack.
New Deal fits into that category bigtime but he is finally starting to repay his supporters with displays more in keeping with his ability.
Before New Deal ever had his first start, he gave a glimpse of how talented he was at a trials meeting at Rangiora.
In a maiden 2000 meters trial, New Deal led early, steadied and then brushed home in 54.6 and 26.9 without being driven out.
It was a display of raw talent that was not missed by punters but what New Deal didn't have in those early days was ringcraft.
New Deal was prone to every mistake in the book and raced accordingly with just one win in his first ten starts.
He started to turn the corner late in his last campaign, winning two of his last three starts and resumed recently with an emphatic win at Rangiora.
Sent straight to the front by regular driver Colin DeFilippi, New Deal toyed with his rivals in the 2000 meters mobile, winning in a 1:59.6 mile rate with smart closing sectionals of 55.8 and 27.3.
Tonight at Addington, New Deal has drawn two at the barrier over his pet distance of 1950 meters and if he brings his "A" game to the table he will be very hard to beat.
However the strength of the field means New deal will need to be at his best as there are several promising horses drawn handily in the 1950 mobile for C3 - C5 pacers.
The Tim Butt trained Franco Harrington has drawn barrier one and the son of Lis Mara is coming off a great second to Dalton Bromac at his last start.
Weather 1950 meters is really his go is debatable but the draw and ability means he is a big chance.
Lewy Risk from barrier four has Ricky May in the bike tonight and he looms as another winning chance with four of his five wins coming at 1950 meters.
His last start third to Dalton Bromac was also full of merit and given a run to suit will be very competitive.
The last of the main chances is Lumos form the Robert Dunn barn who has drawn barrier six and he comes into the race with a great last start third to Christen Me and Lochaburn.
It is an enormous drop back in class here but the 1950 meters has not been kind to Lumos in the past with just one win from 13 attempts.
Class will take him a long way but we would prefer him over more ground.
So for us, New Deal to continue his progression through the grades with Franco Harrington, Lewy Risk and Lumos the main dangers.
Throw in Hi Jinx and Florin for trifecta and first four players.