Day At The Track

Stars of the Canterbury weekend

11:06 AM 12 Dec 2016 NZDT
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Stage one of the three-year-old campaign for Enghien is complete.

The next stage won’t come until 2017 though.

Last season’s two-year-old trotter of the year made light work of his three-year-old debut on Thursday night at Addington sitting parked outside Harness Jewels winner, Donegal Bettorgretch, before grinding her into the deck to win with a bit of authority.

And while the temptation might be there for Greg and Nina Hope to keep the foot on the pedal, Enghien is now in the paddock enjoying a couple of weeks off.

“The plan was to always get him up for a race and then turned him out for a while,” Greg Hope said.

“He will head out for a bit now and then we can bring him back up and get ready for the three-year-old features later in the season.

“I’m more and more impressed by him, there’s a lot of ability there.”

Enghien trotted home in 56.7 to win the event, showing that despite his impressive staying abilities, he is also a horse of high speed when required which will make him a dangerous prospect through the Derbies and then onto the Harness Jewels.



Nigel McGrath is looking at a three-pronged Ashburton Cup attack on Boxing Day.

A stable quinella, headed by his stable star Classie Brigade, was a highlight for his stable over the weekend and the NZ Derby runner-up and Ears Burning will be joined by Maverick in the Mid Canterbury feature.

“Auckland was a possibility, but I think we are better off looking at Ashburton and sticking a bit closer to home,” McGrath said.

“He’s going good, but probably not as good as he can yet and I can’t put my finger on what’s going on.

“It could be a number of things, or it could be something quite simple.”

Ears Burning showed he’s going to be no slouch in the intermediate grade with his great run for second.

Maverick went around in last Sunday’s Methven Green Mile, but does appear better suited to the Ashburton Cup.



Jason Ford had to wait a wee while for Sunday.

So when Time For Diamonds went past the post first in the opening race at Motukarara, the Rakaia horseman had every reason to raise a hand in the air in celebration.

After taking out his trials licence back in 2004, Ford’s first full season in the sulky as an open driver has been successful thus far and Time For Diamonds win put the icing on the cake.

It was Ford’s first win in the sulky and he produced a gem of a drive on the horse trained by his father Allan.

After placings over the previous two weeks, the five-year-old daughter of Majestic Son was in line to break her maiden status and did so with a wee bit of authority yesterday.

Matt Markham

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