Easter Cup night review

Easter Cup night review

Our big team did us proud on Friday night at Addington, with the Group One second to Sundees Son in the New Zealand Trotting Championship the individual highlight. Henry Hubert was a brave 4th in the Easter Cup after leading, while Franco Niven was a narrow but impressive winner in the lower grades.

This year's Easter Cup was certainly one of the better fields in recent years and it was always going to be a challenge against the powerful All Stars team. That challenge for our team became even tougher as Henry Hubert, Letspendanitetogetha and Alta Orlando all bobbled or broke at the start.

After settling about four lengths off the early lead, Henry Hubert was parked from the 2400m, before taking the lead off Turn It Up at the 1800m. After enjoying a conmfortable lead until the 1200m, Henry Hubert was then attended to his outside by Spankem. At the 400m he had shrugged off the challenge of that runner, but it was the All Stars runners - Turn It Up - trail, The Fixer - one-one, that would always have the cold shot at him. It was Turn It Up that took the lead at the 200m and in a tight finish he held out the late finish of A G's White Socks, with The Fixer outfinishing Henry Hubert for third, in what was a brave run.

Of the other stable runners, it was Alta Maestro that caught the eye, barrelling home out wide after being in an impossible position many lengths off the leaders at the 400m. His was no doubt the run of the beaten brigade.

It was Sundees Son that nearly pulled off a huge result in the New Zealand Trotting Championship. After sitting parked for much of the last lap, he went head to head with Speeding Spur from the 400m, the pair drawing clear on the turn. Neither gave an inch down the straight and just as it appeared that Sundees Son may nab the northerner short of the line, he went into a break, a neck the final margin between them. Sundees Son has showed in his last two starts that he is now ready to take the step up with the top trotters and that Group One win may not be far away.

The draws were never going to make it easy in the other Group One feature the New Zealand Derby and so it proved. After making a run to breeze with a lap to go, Heisenberg then enjoyed the one-one on the back of Jesse Duke. He fought bravely over the closing stages to finish 6th, just four lengths off impressive winner Ultimate Sniper. Stars Tonight was never able to get into the race after getting back in the running.

The Group Two Welcome Stakes fielded a very good field and Above N Beyond at just his second start appeared more than a tad unlucky. Pocketed three back the trip, he was only really into clear air over the last 150m and came home with purpose to be beaten just under two lengths behind One Change.

Our sole winner for the night was an impressive Franco Niven. An early leader, he then trailled stablemate Kotare Yolande from the 1200m. The filly was under siege before the turn and as Zinny Mach swept to the lead, things appeared dire for John and Franco Niven. Once able to find space on the inside, he charged home and in an inch perfect drive, got his nose in front when it counted to go home the narrowest of winners. The win was the second from just the seven starts for Franco Niven and owners Cullen Breeding.

In other results on the night:

Kotare Cullen - last after leading

Garta - a close up 4th

Kotare Yolande - last after leading

Alta Orlando - 11th - after breaking

Letsependanitetogetha - pulled up after breaking

Chevron Supreme - 6th

Nakuru - 9th

Posted: Sun 07 Apr 2019