Day At The Track

The race to be Trotting Master is on!

06:12 AM 19 Apr 2018 NZST
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Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters
Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters

The field is entering the home stretch. And it’s still hard to pinpoint the winner. The race to be crowned 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Master is anyone’s guess with just two legs remaining.

The focus swings to Alexandra Park, Auckland with the running of this week’s $100,000 H R Fisken & Sons Anzac Cup followed by the $150,000 Canam Rowe Cup next week.

Both events carry Gr.1 status

Winners of Trotting Masters features thus far this season include Amaretto Sun (Dominion), Sparkling Success (Great Southern Star) and Tornado Valley (Grand Prix).

None of the above mentioned will contest the Auckland classics which leaves the door slightly ajar for a late dive-bombing closer to claim the title.

A scenario that unfolded last season with Habibti Ivy snatching the crown following the Auckland features.

As it stands, Sparkling Success leads the race with 160 points but is that enough to secure the title?

Can local star Temporale (currently with 60 points) produce the goods over the next week to claim a dramatic victory?

The dual Gr.1 winner boasts an excellent record at the track with 8 wins and 7 minor placings from 17 starts.

Suddenly, Temporale is thrust into the limelight in more ways than one.

The Anzac Cup was introduced to the Grand Circuit calendar back in 2012 when champion performer I Can Doosit prevailed for trainer/driver Mark Purdon.

Winners since include Stent, Superbowlcheerleader, Sheemon, Monbet and Habibti Ivy.

There is a common thread that links the six previous winners; they were all prepared in the South Island.

Can Temporale become the first North Island trained winner of the Anzac Cup?

Will master horseman Tony Herlihy weave some magic in front of his local fans?

Also representing the north are quality performers Speeding Spur (gate 13), Lemond (gate 4), Yagunnakissmeornot (gate 11), Realmein (gate 10) and Charlemagne (gate 6).

Speeding Spur, prepared by father/son combination of John and Josh Dickie, is a six times Gr.1 winner including his latest effort at Addington in the Fred Shaw Memorial New Zealand Trotting Championship on April 6.

His record at his home track is exemplary with 8 wins and 8 minor placings from 16 starts.

Again, the south is well represented with boom four-year-old Enghien (gate 2) looking to maintain his unbeaten record at the clockwise track.

Prepared by Greg and Nina Hope, the Woodend Beach couple is chasing their second triumph after scoring with Monbet two years ago.

The dual Gr.1 winner will again be handled by Ricky May.

Quality performers Bordeaux (gate 7) and Harriet Of Mot (gate 12) will gain strong support while Destiny Jones (gate 9) is looking for some luck from its tricky draw.

Phil Williamson and Paul Nairn, both highly skilled horsemen, are represented by Monty Python (gate 1) and Alderbeck (gate 3) while One Over Da Moon (gate 5) must be respected.

The first three placed runners are guaranteed a start in the 2018 Rowe Cup next week.

The Anzac Cup is a 2200m mobile start event while the Rowe Cup will be staged under standing start conditions and run over 3200m.

Chris Barsby

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