Day At The Track

My Kiwi Mate stands up

12:11 PM 28 May 2016 NZST
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Tony Herlihy.png Kiwi Mate2.JPG
Tony Herlihy
Australian My Kiwi Mate is the only Australian who will compete in the Jewels this year

The man with the sole responsibility of flying the Australian flag at the Harness Jewels says he hopes the four-year-old Emerald becomes a war.

Because that will be My Kiwi Mate’s best chance of winning.

The Victorian pacer warmed up for next Saturday with an easy win from in front at Alexandra Park on Friday night, outstaying his rivals in the hands of Tony Herlihy.

It was his first start for a month and followed on from his second to Field Marshal in the Messenger on April 29, with an impressive workout win in between.

All of that points to him being a good chance on Saturday but trainer Crag Demmler knows his middle of the front line barrier looks less than ideal, especially with Field Marshal drawn the ace.

 “But I think it might work out all right,” says Demmler.

 “Our horse will probably have to go forward early but if he can get handy I am pretty sure Titan Banner will come and put some pressure on.

 “So if we can be sitting in with cover on a really hot speed, that is what will suit him best.

 “Even though he won tonight and went well, he is definitely better coming from off a hot speed as he tends to lose concentration and wait for them when he leads.”

The win was the first for Demmler’s colours as a trainer at Alexandra Park but punters with a good memory could be excused for thinking it wasn’t.
Demmler actually drove Breeny’s Fella, trained by his father Ted, to win a free-for-all at Alexandra Park back in 2000.

“My colours are almost identical to Dad’s, but this is the first winner I have trained here.

 “It is simply that hard to get a horse good enough to come across here but now we have one I am looking forward to the big day.”

My Kiwi Mate was the best of several good Jewels trials on the night, with Democrat Party a slightly luckless third just in behind him while earlier Donegal Bettorgretch, Miss Daisy, Motown and On The Town all suggested they are close to their peaks leading into the $1.2million day.

One horse who won’t be heading to the Jewels but provided one of the feel good stories of the night was Foray, who came from near last to win a rare fast grade 1700m mobile trot.

The Manawatu trotter was having his second start back for co-owner Matt Hickey after returning from Australia and an earlier spell with Paul Nairn.

He stormed home to down Realmein and The Almighty Johnson, the latter producing a fine Jewels trial although he faces a tough second line draw against Monbet.

Michael Guerin

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