Day At The Track

Nairn could weave his magic with Dr Hook

03:05 PM 28 Sep 2013 NZST
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Paul Nairn                          Dr Hook
Paul Nairn seen here with Greg O'Connor
Duane Ranger Photo
Dr Hook
Duane Ranger Photo

Paul Nairn is on the verge of orchestrating Awesome Trotting Comeback Part II.

The race sealing that achievement could be tomorrow's $25,000 D.G. Jones Trotting Cup at Motukarara.

Nairn has long been respected as a freak even among our outstanding crop of trotting trainers, with his incredible strike rate and ability to improve horses from even the best trainers.

He wrote one of the great stories of New Zealand harness racing history last season when Stig won trotter of the year after three years out retired and now he is looking to produce something not quite so spectacular but still pretty incredible with Dr Hook.

The perennial group one placegetter's life was in danger when he suffered severe colic in Victoria last season when on loan to the Mark Purdon stable and Nairn feared getting him back to the races at all.

However, not only has Dr Hook returned but was a brave fresh-up second against some of the best trotters in Australasia at Addington last start.


With natural improvement he could go one better in tomorrow's group three feature on the grass.

"He should improve on last start and that was a big run in a good field so I'd like to think he can win this week," says Nairn.

The rain in Canterbury this week could aid Dr Hook on the giant grass track. "I don't think it will bother him if it gets soft, whereas it might bother a couple of the others.

"So there are a few things in his favour."

Although the mighty Stig will miss the race as he is on a fat-trimming programme, Nairn also has former group one winner Raydon starting.

"He hasn't been trotting quite as well as I would like so I think he will need to improve."

Their opposition includes Vulcan, who is incredibly nearing the $1 million stake mark, and Escapee, who is possibly our fastest trotter.

As good as Escapee is, a slog on a testing grass track may not be her go but it is hard to imagine it will bother Vulcan, who has won this race before.

He needed the run so was driven quietly at Addington last start but ran on well and looks the logical horse to beat tomorrow, with the small field and big track helping negate his 20m handicap.

Add in the greatly improved Uncas and dual Jewels winner Cyclone U Bolt and the open-class trotting season is starting to hot up, with the tantalising prospect that the best of them all, I Can Doosit, is back in work and could be racing by Christmas.

Courtesy of Michael Guerin and the New Zealand Herald


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