Day At The Track

Great things are bound to happen

08:22 AM 17 Nov 2017 NZDT
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Great Things Happens,Harness racing
Great Things Happens has had a minor setback
Race Images

Jack's Legend gets the perfect chance to replicate the richest win of his career on an even bigger stage at Addington Raceway in Christchurch today.

A driving masterclass from Zachary Butcher helped Jack's Legend cause a huge upset at the Harness Jewels in June when he blasted across to a shock early lead before trailing Ultimate Machete and waiting until late in the straight to surge past him via the passing lane.

He meets Ultimate Machete again in the $260,000 NZ Free-For-All today but if Butcher wants to try those lead-then-trail tactics again he will probably end up following a different rival, Australian visitor Tiger Tara.

The pair chased home Lazarus, who is absent today as he travels to the Perth Inter Dominions, in the New Zealand Cup on Tuesday and while Jack's Legend was impressive in second, Tiger Tara was the run of the race outside Lazarus.

He was parked for much of the race before galloping and losing four lengths at the 800m mark when he jumped a mark left on the track by the Seal The Deal/Dream About Me meelee at the start of the race.

Tiger Tara has developed high gate speed since being sold to Australia and driver Todd McCarthy says he will be using it today.

"He gets off the gate well and loves to lead and run along so that will be the plan," he says.

"And I think most of the other drivers would be keen to follow him because he will give whoever is in the trail their chance," says McCarthy. "I was thrilled with him in the Cup and he has come through it really well."

For all the talent of Ultimate Machete and Dream About Me, if Tiger Tara leads with Jack's Legend trailing they have a huge advantage. The question of the $260,000 may be whether Jack's Legend has enough change up speed to slingshot Tiger Tara.

Ultimate Machete can win but will have to do it the hard way while Dream About Me's nightmare week continues with her wide draw.

The draws have been kind to Great Things Happen, though, in the $300,000 Dominion Trot as he secured the front line while key rival Bordeaux will have to start from the second line.

There is little between the pair on raw ability but Bordeaux is at his most potent when able to lead and roll even sectionals, which now looks unlikely.

Great Things Happen was awesome winning the Trot Free-For-All on Tuesday.

Trainer-driver Gavin Smith says he has pulled up perfectly.

"I got a blood [sample] done and it is even better than it was going into Tuesday," says Smith.

"I have been thinking for a while it is a race in two between us and Bordeaux so to draw in front of him is a big advantage and I'll be keen to get to the front."

Smith says punters concerned about Great Things Happen returning to standing start after the hustle and bustle of two recent mobile starts need not worry.

"I can't remember the last time he galloped away.

"In fact, I'd love the start to be a long one with some waiting around because he will just relax and then perk up when I ask him to go," says Smith.

If Smith is right and Great Things Happen is able to lead, it is hard to see him getting beaten.


Michael Guerin

 

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