A solo workout at Alexandra Park on Wednesday was all the convincing Mark Jones needed to know he's not wasting his time with Master Lavros in this week's $150,000,Group 1 2014 Canam Rowe Cup. New Zealand's best open class trotter let his faithful supporters down again with two gallops in last week's Greenlane Cup, but Jones wasn't letting the disappointment of that run get in the way of what lies in wait on Friday night.
"I'm putting it down to driver error," Jones said of last week's performance.
"I tried to rush him around them too early in the race and we have found out that when he gallops once he generally does it twice.
"I'm not too worried by it though, he was probably a little bit too fresh.....he's a lot better this week."
Jones flew North during the week to work Master Lavros and said his work was exemplary. "If he trots on Friday night as well as he did when I worked him then I'm going to be very happy. "His work was very good."
Master Lavros will need to overcome, not only his issues of last week, but also an awkward second line draw if he is to become one of very few horses to complete the notable Rowe Cup and Dominion Handicap double.
"He's a great stayer, and I think he is the best horse in the race but we are going to need some luck."
Last week's Greenlane Cup winner, Sheemon , is one of a number of chances in the Group 1 event outside of Master Lavros. The Kevin Townley -trained runner has shown a real liking for Alexandra Park winning three times and placing twice from five starts. Australian raider, Zedalite has been the subject of plenty of support since arriving in New Zealand as is expected to also play a hand in one of New Zealand's most prestigious trotting features of the year.
By Matt Markham (Harness Racing New Zealand)