Day At The Track

Ready to burn

08:29 AM 06 Feb 2017 NZDT
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Ears Burning.jpg
Ears Burning and Nigel McGrath
RaceImages.net.nz

Not having to chase his high-class stablemate for a change will be a welcome pleasure for Ears Burning today.

The Nigel McGrath trained pacer will tackle this afternoon’s Amberley Cup, and for once this summer he won’t have to look around to see Classie Brigade stalking him or making him work that extra bit harder.

The son of Grinfromeartoear has been beaten by his stablemate in four of his last five outings and three of them have been placings.

“He hasn’t gone a bad race when you look at it.” McGrath said.

“Just ignore the Invercargill run last time, he got a flat tyre early and was never in it.

“But I’ve actually thought a couple of times he’s gone just as good as Classie Brigade has despite being beaten.”

A relative newcomer at the start of the season to country circuit racing, Ears Burning has handled every hefty assignment McGrath has thrown his way and done it with some distinction too.

This season alone he’s filled a placing in behind Classie Brigade, but also the brilliant Mr Mohito.

“I’ve got a bit of time for him so haven’t been afraid to put him to the test.

“And he’s handled it every time too, I’ve been really impressed with him and am looking forward to what he can do next year because he’s only going to get better.”

While 12 months away might be the real future, McGrath is intent on making the most of the current run of form and that should hopefully continue in today’s grass track feature.

Although he doesn’t have to line up against Classie Brigade, Ears Burning does still have some serious opposition to contend with in the Amberley Cup including Buster Brady, Mighty Flying Major and Seel The Deal.

And he will do so having his first start on a grass track.

“To be honest I’m not 100 per cent sure how he will go on the grass.

“He has had a workout on one before, and he just went ok. But it looks like it’s going to be a pretty firm surface so he should be able to handle it.

“That’s the only thing I’m worried about though, if he races up to the level he has been then he should be right in it you would think.”

Off the 10 metre handicap today, a good beginning will be paramount in the $19,499 event with some of his rivals having the ability to jump and run quickly off the front if required.

Ears Burning is just one of two runners McGrath has entered as he looks to continue his steady season.

From 109 starters, he has produced 20 winners with a strike rate of just over one in five.

Last season he trained 37 and with a good team of horses around him currently then that should be achievable again for the Weedons horseman.

Stable star Classie Brigade will head to the Summer Cup at Addington later in the month before pointing toward’s the Group One Easter Cup.

“We will go to the Easter Cup and then make a decision from there whether we head to Auckland or not.”

McGrath’s other runner today is the handy My Wee Man.

 

Super Selector - By Matt Markham

Race 1: Sunny CJ, Gold Sovereign, Di’z Luck, Izmok

Race 2: Algranco Albyone, Titanium, Red Terror, Dying To See You

Race 3: Rochard Le Fort, Franco Tmick, Jack Hammer, Living Legend

Race 4: Cullen’s Joy, Cullenz Diamond, Rapid Flight, Calendar Girlz

Race 5: Hall Of Fame, Torrid Bromac, Bite The Bullet, Righteous Brother

Race 6: Trailer Park Girl, Crystal Slipper, Carter Michael, Lets Rock N Roll

Race 7: Ella Abbe, We’ll Meet Again, Tehoro Dazzle, Time For Diamonds

Race 8: English Rose, My Wee Man, All About Henry, Quite Ideal

Race 9: Ears Burning, Buster Brady, Mighty Flying Major, Hopeful Harriet

Race 10: Gerhswin, All Lit Up, Eyre I Come, All Settled Down

Race 11: The Honey Badger, Missinmemate, Buckeye, Mac Toddy

Race 12: Mrs Browns Boys, Our Quinn, Late Mail, Ellmers Image

Best Bet: Hall Of Fame (Race 5)

Value: Cullen’s Joy (Race 4)

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