Day At The Track

Old boy back to his best

09:00 AM 04 Feb 2018 NZDT
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Kyvalley Blur,harness racing
Kyvalley Blur
Trots Media

Champion driver Chris Alford headed to Hunter Cup thinking he could be in for something special with a veteran horse.

But it was Lennytheshark in the Hunter Cup itself Alford was thinking most about.

While Lennytheshark ran a brave fourth, another veteran gave Alford his golden moment of the night.

North American-bred trotter Kyvalley Blur, who was racing so well during an NZ raid just a few weeks ago, returned to his sparkling best for an upset win in the Group 1 Dullard Cup (2240m).

And Alford was quick to heap the praise on trainer Brent Lilley, who took over training the 10-year-old Kyvalley Blur about four years ago when Chris Lang Sr retired from training ranks.

“Brent’s done a fantastic job to keep this old horse keen and interested in racing,” he said. “The way he turned him around from last week was fantastic. The old guy was disappointing by his standards last week.”

A modest Alford forgot to mention another superb drive played a key role in the return to winning form.

In a race run upside down, hot favourite Sparkling Success worked overtime three and then outside the leader in a frantic first half.

In the run, classy Kiwi raider Temporale looked the winner, but Alford landed the three-wide home on him and stormed over the top late to snatch victory by a half-neck in a slick 1min57.1sec mile rate.

It was a buzz for passionate trotting owner-breeder Jim Connelly.

Kyvalley Blur’s now raced 102 times for 24 wins, 40 placings and earned almost $450,000.

Adam Hamilton

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