Day At The Track

Classy field assembled at Nelson

08:59 AM 10 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Nelson winter racing action,Harness racing
Nelson harness racing action
Jacob Page photo

by Jonny Turner   

A classy field will give punters plenty to ponder ahead of today’s Nelson Cup.

The in-form line up means reigning winner Dadndave will need to be on his game to defend 2019 title.

The Tim Trathen trained pacer showed toughness to conquer the 3000m feature as a 3yr-old last season.

That victory left no doubt about 4yr-old’s staying credentials, which Trathen thinks will be the horse’s biggest asset when he takes on today’s smart line up.   

“He is a tough wee bugger – he loves a bit of distance.”

“The further, the better.”

The timing appears right for Dadndave to defend his cup title.

The 4yr-old has returned to peak form after a scratchy start to his season.

“He had an abscess in a foot, then he had a bit of a snotty nose and things went wrong there for a while,” Trathen said.

“He is definitely a bit perkier now and I think we are on the right track.”

“He seems back to his best.”

Dadndave went two from two at last year’s two day nelson meeting before ending a respectable 3yr-old run with creditable sixth behind Jesse Duke at the Harness Jewels.

The pacer was not able to carry on that momentum with two below opening runs as a 4yr-old, which were followed by two slightly improved performances in strong company.

“He drew back every time and we were back all of the way and it is hard to make a bit of a move in that company,” Trathen said.

“I wasn’t disappointed, it is tough racing those good ones.”

“I always thought he was good enough to be in them.”

Backmarker Change Is Good is set to start race favourite following her brilliant run of spring and summer form.

The adaptable Mitchell Kerr trained pacer starts alongside Bringitonhome, Hayden’s Meddle and Memphis Tennessee on the 20m mark.

Dadndave, Stars Tonight, Yorkshire and Rah De Rah get a head start on them from the 10m mark .

Kendra, Rocknroll Rod and recent grass track flop Taxman start off the front alongside Doctor Tim.

Group 1 winning trotter Great Things Happen must overcome a huge 60m handicap to win today’s feature trot at Nelson.

The Gavin Smith trained and driven will have 30m between him and Overzealous, who has the second biggest handicap in the 2400m event.

Great Things Happens goes in to today’s race after producing a solid effort to run fifth behind Pres The Belle in a significantly stronger race at Addington.

The 8yr-old travelled south to the recently abandoned Omakau meeting after that run.

Great Things Happens has placed in both of his starts at Nelson.

Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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