Match race should be a highlight tonight

Match race should be a highlight tonight

While it is only a two horse go after a scratching today, the "match race" between Franco Cristiano and Heaven Rocks is sure to be a highlight at Addington this evening. Set to run at 6.50pm, this is another heat of the Breeders Crown, this time for the three year old colts and geldings.

Both horses are at interesting stages in their preparation. Franco Cristiano is two from two after a long period away from the racetrack and has looked every bit the horse that he did in the spring. Heaven Rocks was the star three year old through the late autumn period, culminating in the win at his last start in the Harness Jewels. He is a very good horse.

Such is the interest in this race that the bookies have opened a book on the race with Heaven Rocks a $1.65 favourite over Franco Cristiano, who has been quoted at $2.10.

Co-trainer and driver John Dunn was looking forward to the challenge that the race provided.

"I know that Heaven Rocks is a pretty smart animal and he will take a fair bit of beating, but my guy is pretty good too."

"It could be that with a bit more race fitness on our side that it gives us a bit of an adavantage, but I guess we will find out later on tonight."

Tonight presents further opportunities for the stable to cut into the premiership lead of the Purdon/Rasmussen stable, a lead that currently sits at eight after the win of Vanhalem at Forbury last night.

The first runner of the night is Superior Desire in Race One at 5.14pm. He contests an amateur drivers race with Gavin Turner to drive. From a bad draw last week, he never got into the race and again he cops a bad marble tonight. John felt that a place chance was probably his best hope this evening.

Freedom Fighter in Race Two at 5.40pm, has run two really good races since a spell. He gets a great draw to work with tonight, but John is very weary of the threat of likely hot favourite in Mr Mojito.

"He was pretty impressive last time in premier company and looks the sort that will go on. We will certainly be trying and are a show, but it could be that he has a bit too much class for us."

Letspendanitetogetha in Race Seven at 8.14pm, is the type of horse we would all like to own. He just never knows how to run a bad race. Ironically it is his good draw tonight, barrier one, that has John most concerned.

"We could be in a bit of trouble from there to be fair," said John. He doesn't get out of the gate that good and we could end up getting badly placed on the inside."

If he can hold up and not end up anymore than three back, he must be a big hope again and does look one of the stables best hopes for the evening. He is a great eachway chance.

A stable newcomer is Lucky Three in Race Eight at 8.44pm. Formerly trained by Henderson Hunter, Lucky Three has always looked good enough to win a race. He has placed six times in his 26 start career.

"We've only had him about a week and he seems pretty good," said John.

"The draw will definitely suit him as he likes to bowl along in front, but I think that the two 2yr olds - Stars Align and Whittaker - may just have a bit too much class."

The final Addington runner this evening is Junior in Race Ten at 9.40pm. He made an uncustomary mistake last week when well supported that ultimately cost him the race. He still put in a good effort for 4th. If he is able to step early and then dictate the pace, Junior should be breaking his maiden duck. He certainly won't be far away.

It could be that the most success for the stable this evening comes from Alexandra Park.

The first race tonight is a junior drivers event and Jack MacKinnon combines with Natural that has been running some really consistent races. This race does appear a touch below the level that she has been contesting of late and if her manners are there, she will be a huge winning hope.

Formula One and Cherry Bay go around in Race Five. Both have been unlucky in their races recently especially Formula One that did look a certainty beat last time out when denied a gap. He is a great eachway hope here. Cherry Bay has been doing it tough from the unruly and may have to do so again tonight. However, if there is a hot pace and plenty of moves in the race, don't count her out of your multiples.

The final runner for the evening is Bevan's Cullen in Race Six. He made an uncharacteristic error last time, but put in a big run for 4th. Providing he is on his best behaviour and gets a decent run through from the second line, he is the one that they all have to beat.

Posted: Fri 15 Jul 2016

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