Graham Court was very bullish about the chances of Terror To Love during the week and judging by the result, he had every right to be. Although, the match race we had all hoped for didn’t exactly play out.
The first sensation of the 2013 Ashburton Flying Stakes came when favourite Christen Me galloped around the first bend for “no apparent reason” and lost all chance, while the second happened soon after when the outside rein came adrift on Fly Like An Eagle, who then spent the majority of the race in front of the field on the inside of the track before being caught by the Clerk Of The Course.
Both events added to what was a very memorable race, as did Terror To Love’s New Zealand record breaking time of 2-54.9.
“The track was lightning quick out there today, but his run was still absolutely super,” said driver Ricky May.
“I never even turned the stick on him, and he was still travelling strong at the line,” he added.
“He seems to be getting better with every run. He is definitely heading in the right direction going into the Cup,” he concluded.
Of the beaten brigade, Franco Ledger’s run for second had plenty of merit, while the Australian raider Suave Stuey Lombo was super finishing in fifth after missing the start, looping the field and serving it up to the leaders.
The connections of Christen Me could offer no tangible reason for his uncharacteristic gallop other than “He may have been too fresh for his own good", with Dalgety later referring to it as a mental meltdown.
“We thought we would give him a bit of a gallop today as if he wins the Trotting Cup on the Tuesday, we might back him up in the Galloping Cup on the Saturday,” joked an always humorous, Cran Dalgety.
Dalgety advised the stewards that he would notify them if anything comes to light in upcoming days. In other news from the stipes report, the connections of Fly Like An Eagle were fined $250 for failing to attach his rein correctly.
Both Terror To Love and Christen Me will next be sighted in the New Zealand Cup trial.
By Mitchell Robertson
THE TRUST ASHBURTON FLYING STAKES FFA PACE (Group 2)
The start was delayed one minute at the request of the TAB.
SUAVE STUEY LOMBO and CHRISTEN ME broke at the start with both runners losing ground.
After about 50 metres M Purdon as the driver of FLY LIKE AN EAGLE lost the use of his off side rein. On the first turn Mr Purdon shifted FLY LIKE AN EAGLE to the inside of the track markers where he remained until the final bend at which point he was restrained with the assistance of the Clerk Of The Course.
At about the 2000 metres CHRISTEN ME broke and lost its chance. When questioned regarding this driver D Dunn could offer no explanation. CHRISTEN ME was sent to be examined by the on course Veterinarian with no abnormalities detected. Trainer C Dalgety undertook to advise Stewards of anything which may come to light in the coming days that could explain the performance.
FLY LIKE AN EAGLE was cleared from the unruly for future standing start events.
Stewards issued Junior Horsewoman L Panella with a charge under Rule 869(2)(a) alleging she used her whip in a manner Stewards deemed excessive. After viewing the films, Miss Panella who was assisted by Senior Horseman M Jones, admitted the breach and the JCA imposed a fine of $250.
Co-trainer M Purdon admitted a breach of Rule 864(2)(d) in that the rein on FLY LIKE AN EAGLE had not been affixed correctly so as not to come adrift and the JCA imposed a fine of $250.