Realatthetime, the pacer who is seldom hopped and is largely trained on the lead, will face her toughest harness racing test in the last race at Alexandra Park tomorrow night (Friday November 16). Fresh from her last start victory at 'The Park' on November 2, Realatthetime has drawn the ace in the $13,000 pace for one-to-three-win pacers.
And her Clevedon-based trainer Gareth Dixon believes that could be to her detriment.
"The draw is probably not ideal for her because she's not overly quick out of the gate. She did leave okay last start and she does hold her own but I would have preferred somewhere other than one," Dixon told Harnesslink.
The daughter ofstarted okay on November 2 and was three-wide at the bell with two laps remaining before ending up in the one-one down the back straight the first time.
Tony Herlihy (MNZM) then took her to the lead at the 1400m and from that point the mare simply out-paced them. Todd Macfarlane will do the steering this week because Herlihy is committed to his stable runner, Idolise Me.
Dixon admits the Steve Phillips owned and bred bay will have to be right on her game to match Friday's field.
"This is her toughest test yet. She raced against the fillies and mares last time and this will be a lot tougher. There are some nice horses in the field.
"She's a good size now and has taken a bit longer than most to find her feet. She has a few quirks about her. She can be a bit moody and that's why I prefer to train her on the lead.
"About the only time I hopple her is when she races," Dixon said
Realatthetime has won four of her 20 starts and placed in five others for $30,281. All four of her wins have been at Alexandra Park, including three over Friday's 2200m mobile.
On November 2 she won over that distance in 2:43.9. Mile rate: 1:59.8. Last 800m: 57.9. Last 400m: 27.7.
She won by 1-1/2 lengths and was the fifth favourite in the eight-horse field. She paid $8.30 to win.
Despite drawing the outside of the front line, the Mark Purdon trained and Josh Dickie driven Sir Tosti Mach is likely to be the favourite after consecutive wins at the Kaikoura and Kumeu meetings - on October 29 and November 9 respectively.
Footnote: Friday's Auckland Trotting Club meeting will also see the return of wonder mare Bettor Cover Lover in the ninth eight at 9.38pm
By Duane RANGER (editor)
Realatthetime winning in 2:43.9 at Alexandra Park two Fridays ago: