Day At The Track

Conon Bridge way too smart in Hambletonian

04:47 PM 06 Feb 2016 NZDT
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Conon Bridge and Bob Butt in the birdcage at Ashburton after winning the Hambletonian Classic today
Conon Bridge and Bob Butt in the birdcage at Ashburton after winning the Hambletonian Classic today
Conon Bridge

Leading trotting trainer Paul Nairn is never one to do things by the book.

He likes to do things his way and his outstanding record of success over the last twenty plus years would suggest that his methods work.

Today Paul lined up last season's two year old trotter of the year in Conon Bridge in the Group 3 Hambletonian Classic at Ashburton Raceway but the surprising thing for a lot of the pundits was that Conon Bridge had been unsighted at workouts or trials since before Christmas.

That lead some people to surmise that maybe Conon Bridge may be vulnerable in a fast run race but Paul was confident that his star youngster was ready to rumble.

Bob Butt shot Conon Bridge to the front from barrier three with ease and kept up a steady enough tempo through the first half in even time.

Gershwin and Stevie Golding went up and had a look at Conon Bridge passing the half and the two went together to the top of the lane.

Conon Bridge looking to be jogging on the corner and when Bob let him go he sprinted away with ease, holding a two length advantage at the finishing line.

Gunners Coin fought on well for second after trailing the whole way for Colin de Filippi while Donegal Bettorgretch and Dexter Dunn made ground late out wide for third.

Conon Bridge could not have been more impressive in running the mile in 1:57.9 with smart closing sectionals of 56.7 and 27.9

Bob Butt was all smiles post race.

" He did that really easily to be honest."

" Last season at two he use to half pull up if left in front but today he ran through the line so that is a big plus going forward."

" He gave me a great feel today and he should be even better with that run under his belt," Bob said.

Paul Nairn was already contemplating his immediate racing program as he ungeared the son of Raffaello Ambrosio.

" I am thinking I might take him to Melbourne for the Need For Speed Series."

" He is such a great gaited horse and the sprint racing would really suit him," Paul said.  

The series has prize money of $12,500 at the semi final stage with the final for $60,000 being staged on the same night as the Great Southern Star Final is run.

The way Conon Bridge won over the mile today suggests that the Need For Speed Series would suit the colt down to the ground.

Harnesslink Media

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