Day At The Track

Reaza Grunter set to make amends

04:59 PM 30 Nov 2017 NZDT
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Reaza Grunter, harness racing
Reaza Grunter
Gloucester Park Photo

Promising young harness racing mare Reaza Grunter made an inglorious Gloucester Park debut last Friday night when she was retired after breaking twice but Shane Tritton, who prepares her in partnership with his wife Lauren, is confident she will be on her best behaviour and will make amends by winning the third heat of the San Simeon Pace on Friday night.

Reaza Grunter, a Christian Cullen mare, was a 6/4 favourite last week when she dashed straight to the front from barrier three before breaking into a gallop 350m after the start. She dropped back to last and was still at the rear when she again broke into a gallop 550m from home and was retired from the race.

“She had a hood on after she had looked around a bit at her previous start,” Tritton said. “But she fired up and when Lauren tried to settle her, she fumbled out of her gear. It was a simple thing; she didn’t want to slow down. Another horse contacted Reaza Grunter’s wheel, causing her to break the second time.

“We then decided to remove the hood and change a little bit of gear and gave her a trial at Byford on Sunday when she was comfortable and went a lot better.” Reaza Grunter set the pace and won by just under five lengths from Courageous Disco, rating 1.57.3 over 2150m, with two 28.1sec. final quarters.

“Lauren never let her go in the trial and said she was jogging, and I’m confident she will not break in running again. From barrier one we’ll let her roll and hope for the best.”

The only other mare in Friday night’s race is promising five-year-old Dior Mia More, trained by Annie Belton. Dior Mia More notched her fourth win from only eight starts when she raced at the rear before unwinding a powerful burst to beat Mileys Desire by two lengths, rating 1.55.2 over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.

Dior Mia More faces a stern test from the No. 7 barrier, but should still be capable of a bold showing. “She won well at Pinjarra, especially the way she went through the line,” said reinsman Kim Prentice. “She’s a very good horse, ability-wise and will run a good race. However, she is sure to find Reaza Grunter hard to beat.”

Another runner sure to be fancied is New Zealand-bred stallion Walkinshaw, who will be driven by Nathan Turvey for trainer Ray Williams. Walkinshaw, whose 43 starts have produced ten wins and six placings, has won at four of his six starts this season and is sure to take beating from barrier four.

Outstanding Victorian trainer-driver Kerryn Manning describes Ameretto as “our little star” and is confident the six-year-old will prove hard to beat in the $30,000 Parliamentarians Cup over 2130m on Friday night.

Ameretto will start out wide at barrier seven on the front line and will clash with several smart mares, including Ideal Alice, A Piccadilly princess, Donegal Rundlescreek, Sheer Rocknroll and Dodolicious.

Ameretto chalked up her 25th win from 58 starts when she began speedily from the No. 7 barrier, burst to the front after 700m and won the Daintys Daughter Classic from Ideal Alice last Friday night.

She and the other runners in Friday night’s race will be on trial for the group 1 $125,000 Mares Classic the following Friday night.

“Ameretto is a very versatile horse who can do a bit of work or sit back and sprint,” Manning said. “You have got to be near the front on the small track here, so that will be the plan.”

Ken Casellas

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