Ashburton Flying Stakes Day

The Trust Ashburton Flying Stakes at Group 2 level is the highlight of a programme that is befitting in many ways of Premier status. While the "Big Two," as they are regularly referred to (Christen Me and Terror To Love) will be there, for Sleepy Tripp this is another important opportunity to build on the big steps he has taken this season. The stand start "rogue" of last season has done all that has been asked of him to date. Importantly, up until now anyway, the standing starts have been mission accomplished. John knows too well though that every start presents a new challenge. "He's copping it good from the unruly at the moment. I think it presents his best chance to get away, so we won't be worrying about trying to get back in the draw."

In terms of this year's Flying Stakes, the market will again be dominated by the rising champ Christen Me, while the two time defending NZ Cup champ Terror To Love continues to get better and is again expected to prove toughest to beat. This race is also notable for the presence of Aussie raider Suave Stuey Lombo. A renowned speed horse, he raises the interest levels in the race and for a number of runners, the hope is he will also be prepared to add some genuine speed into the race. For stable runner Sleepy Tripp, the harder this race is run the better. Given the right opportunities, he will be finishing over the top of them in what is probably his last race before Cup Day.

There are a further 6 runners entered on the day.

Race 2 - Crackaheiny. This guy is having his first start for over 6 months. He has pleased connections in his training and ran a good 2nd at last Tuesday's trials on the track. John's thoughts were, "that he is definitely an eachway hope. The draw has made it that much harder and the two of Purdon's and the one of "Benny" Hill's are obviously good horses." Whatever the result tomorrow, clearly this horse is one with a lot of scope for further progress and should be in for a good campaign.

Race 6 - Donegal's Guest.  He has had 3 starts for the stable and after an impressive first up victory, he has run good 4ths in top company at his last two starts. "He meets a hot field and they are sure to run time. We're drawn to get a good suck along so if things all panned out, we will be getting home hard. I think he is definitely a place hope."

Race 9 - Phantom Grin, Hurricane Bromac and Mach Banner. Phantom Grin (Dexter) has continued to run consistent races in top company. He is a great standing start exponent and is sure to put himself in the race. Hurricane Bromac was first up last time and has clearly benefited from the run. "He'll probably need another run to top him off, but can be competitive if anywhere near his best." Mach Banner has it all in front of him as the lone backmarker off 30m. "He's really well and while the handicap makes it tough in some respects, at least he can be driven for one run. The reality though for all three of ours  is that they are probably running for 2nd only with Adore Me in the field. She went huge at the trials the other day."       

Race 10 - Franco Nelson.  A top trial on the track last week, showed that this high class horse is back on track. "His first up run was good but he did knock off on me the last bit. That was what I liked about his trial, the way that he hit the line. He's ready to go and with any sort of luck is possibly our best winning hope of the day."                             

Posted: Sun 27 Oct 2013