Champion pacer, Terror To Love, might have began his bid toward a historic fourth New Zealand Trotting Cup victory in the most inglorious of fashions today at Rangiora, but the camp behind the three-time Cup winner couldn’t have been happier.
In his first public appearance since winning the Rangiora Classic near the end of April, Terror To Love was given a quiet time of it by his regular pilot, Ricky May, in the heat.
The run was very similar to that of each of his resuming runs over the past two years – the familairity of it not being lost on his co-trainer Graham Court.
“It’s exactly what we wanted, he did it nice and easy and within himself,’’ Court said.
“We have done that with his first run each year and it has worked so we certainly weren’t keen on changing anything.
“I was very happy with the performance and we can continue to step things up as we go along now – he’s been in work for a while so is pretty fit, but just needs the final trimming before we can get real serious with him.’’
Away safely from his 30 metre handicap, May and Terror To Love settled in second last position of the five horse field while Ballindooley and Vice Chairman escaped to a considerably lead early on in proceedings.
The trailing trio eventually hauled the lead pair in with around 800 metres to run and May never pulled Terror To Love into the clear from there on and let him run to the line under a good hold on the back of the the heat-winning Ballindooley and Dexter Dunn.
“I was really happy with his effort,’’ May said after the heat.
“He felt really strong and paced and steered really nicely for him, he’s usually a bit lazy at trials and workouts.’’
Court confirmed he would head to Ashburton next week for another trial – and then potentially one more before resuming in the Avon City Ford Cup at the end of the month.
Ballindooley, who led throughout the heat looked strong in the run to the line for Dexter Dunn while Vice Chairman, who trailed throughout was also solid in finishing second.
Ballindooley is one of 11 runners nominated for this week’s Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington which carries an automatic entry into the Cup field.
Others making the race their resumption in an effort to sneak into the top 15 spots are; Tiger Tara, Jivin Cullen, Pemberton Shard, Pass Them By, Pure Power and Jason Rulz, the latter of whom was a workout winner at Methven on the weekend.
They will be joined by Lochaburn, Jimmy Johnstone, Four Starzzz Flash and Christen Me who all raced in the National Handicap two weeks ago – with Christen Me emerging victorious.
Courtesy Matt Markham - Harness Racing New Zealand