Day At The Track

Auckland Cup night review

07:20 PM 31 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Turn It Up,Harness racing
Turn It Up
Ashlea Brennan photo

Harness racing up-and-comer Turn It Up has remarkably won the Gr1 $250,000 2018 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup at only his ninth start.

He had to be good to win the race too after a somewhat slow beginning and also being trapped wide for the first 700m.

In the end the Courage Under Fire gelding was simply too fast with trainer/driver Mark Purdon sending the speedy 4yo around to the front and dominating for the rest of the race.

A very slick last 800m cut out in 54.3 seconds meant game over for the rest of the field with Star Galleria and Tony Herlihy getting closest albeit more than a length from the winner at the line.

Mark Purdon said after the race he was always keen to bring him to Auckland at some stage as the horse paces better the Auckland way around..

"When he ran second in the Free For All at Addington that really impressed me and knowing he was a better pacer this way around that sealed it," he said.

"We might take him to Australia later, he is still eligible for the Vic Bred series but we will see how he comes through this race before making any decisions. 

"There is plenty here for him with the Taylor mile and the Jewels so we will see how it pans out," 

Turn It Up paced the 3200m from a stand in 4-03.0 and the winning margin was one and a half lengths.

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Massive Metro caused a boilover of epic preportions beating the race favourite Marcoola in the Gr1 $96,000 Sims Pacific Metals 2018 National Trot at Alexandra Park tonight.

In doing so the 5yo Muscle Mass gelding shaved 0.2 of a second of the New Zealand set by Stig in this race in 2012.

Trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett got a huge thrill winning the race as they also trained Paris Metro the dam of Massive Metro to win the same race back in 2004.

An emotional Todd Mitchell gave credit to the trainers for supporting him with drives and also for correcting the bad manners the horse had at his last start at Cambridge.

"He is a very exciting trotter.

"I am not sure what happened last start at Cambridge, but Bernie and Michelle have done a great job with him and rectified that," he said after the race.

"He felt so much happier right handed.

"When they backed off I thought this is my chance and if we are going to get the front we will get it now.

"In the end he had to come off Marcoola's back to beat him so it shows this guy has got a bit of heart."

The race was run in 3-21.1 with a final 800m in 57.4 and the last 400m in 29.2 seconds

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Wow how good is he? Ultimate Sniper remained unbeaten winning his sixth race from six starts in tonights $195,000 PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales Open final for 3yo pacers.

Any questions asked that Ultimate Sniper may not hold the lead off the gate were quickly answered by a flick with the reins from driver Natalie Rasmussen and the imposing son of Bettor's Delight blasted off the gate to lead easily.

With no attackers mid race Ultimate Sniper was able to reel off a sizzling last 800m in 54.5 seconds and win easing down by more than three lengths from stable mate Another Masterpiece.

Rasmussen had no doubts Ultimate Sniper could hold the lead.

"He is just a natural high speed horse.

"A lot of these good horses have that high speed and he has just got instant speed so the other horses have to be extra good to get near him at the start," she said post race.

The overall time for the 2200m mobile was a quick 2-39.8 and Ultimate Sniper zipped over his last 400m in 26.4 seconds.

Top sire Bettor's Delight sired the first three horses in the race a feat he achieved two more times during the night.

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Speedy filly Belle Of Montana made it four wins from five starts when she won the $150,000 Gr1 Alabar Sires Stakes Fillies Championship by a narrow margin.

Driver Zachary Butcher gave the Barry Purdon trained 3yo a lovely run three deep on the fence and produced her wider at the turn to rush home down the middle of the track to grab the leader Wainui Creek by the barest of noses.

"You can not take it away from her, she has won four out of her last five starts now," Butcher said after the win.

"She is a filly with high speed and to be competitive against these better ones you need that.

"When I pulled her out at the bend and straightened her up she really drove to the line when the plugs came out," he said.

Belle Of Montana ((Bettor's Delight - Lady Cullen) ran the mobile 2200m in 2-40.6 with a closing 800m in 57.0 and the final 400m in 27.3 seconds.

 

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The Paul Court trained 2yo Mach Da Vinci has dominated the second heat of the Breckon Farms Young Gun Series leading all the way and winning comfortably by a length over the 1700m mobile.

A sensation shortly after the start of the race saw the raging hot favourite Smooth Deal go in to an uncontrolled gallop and lose his chance in the race with a stunned Mark Purdon saying after the race he was not sure what caused the $1.05 favourite to break stride.

Mach Da Vinci was driven confidently by Joshua Dickie and paced the 1700m journey in a sedate 2-06.4 with a quicker last 800m on 57.6 and a closing 400m in 27.8 seconds. The mile rate was 1-59.6

Mach Da Vinci (Art Major - Mach's Love) is a half brother to the two win 3yo pacer Stun Gun who ran third in a heat of the Young Gun Series last year.

 

Harnesslink Media

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