Great fields for Premier night racing at Addington
It is a cracker spring day in Christchurch which should lead into a great night of premier racing at Addington tonight. The night's features are the Canterbury Park Trotting Cup for the trotters and the Canterbury Classic for the pacers.
Sundees Son has turned into one of harness racings great news stories over the past six months. A trotter that showed any amount of ability as a two and three year old, but spoiled it with bad manners at key times, has now become the consummate professional in everything that he does. His two wins to start the new season have been stunning and at this stage, the trotting ranks do look his to dominate.
Tonight Sundees Son takes on a good field of trotters, most of which are heading forward to the Dominion Handicap on Show Day. As dominant as he has been, John does have a wary eye on what looks to be his toughest opponent tonight, Oscar Bonavena.
"To be honest, tonight at the handicaps, it will take a very big effort to beat him as he is coming off the front."
"In a bigger field, it mightn't be such an advantage, but with only eight in it tonight and just three on the frontline, Oscar Bonavena should get away safely and be well in front of us early."
Not that John is scared of the challenge.
"I'm rapt with my guy and if he keeps doing what he has been, he is going to be tough to beat whenever he goes to the track."
John was not discounting the chances either of the stablemate Woodstone.
"He's got the 10m headstart on us and I thought that he was very good in last week's trot."
"That slow half down the back was always going to make it tough for those coming from the back."
"He still ran into it over the last 200m, when he probably had no right to and it was only the late break that cost him a placing."
"He had the wee setback so was always going to need a run or two under the belt."
The night's other feature is the $50,000 Canterbury Classic for the cup class pacers.
Henry Hubert (in picture) is fresh up here after also having a setback during his New Zealand cup preparation.
"He seems really good now," said John.
"He had the trial last week at Rangiora which he won and he has definitely come on since then."
Providing he can step well from the draw tonight, Henry Hubert should get a good run on the markers. He would be a definitely place hope, driven tonight by Gav Smith.
Our other runner in the Classic is Classie Brigade.
"That was much more like it at Oamaru."
"He's got a similar draw here to what he had in the Hannon so hopefully he steps like he did down there and puts himself into it early."
Classie Brigade has proved this season already that he is one that could provide a stern challenge to the All Stars runners and is far from the worst eachway chance on the night.
The night starts for us in Race One with Hayden's Meddle.
"He was good last week, I thought," said John.
"It's a good wee field, but hopefully he can get a good spot somewhere near the pace and be running on and get a slice of it."
We have the conistent The Player in Race Three.
"He was another one that went good last week, considering it was a big step up in grade for him."
"It's a top field again tonight, but he will be competitive and is at least a place hope."
"Matua Tana is the one we all have to beat especially after that run at Mot."
We have the two runners, Above N Beyond and Tyron's Bit Of Lemon in the Sires Stakes heat, Race Four.
"Above N Beyond didn't have a lot go his way last week to be fair, but I was still pleased with him."
"He was definitely on the fresh side and very keen, so that run would have been really good for him."
Tyron's Bit Of Lemon went a super race in that same event last week, having to do work over the last lap and yet never flinched on his run.
"He goes alright doesn't he!" said John.
From the slightly better draw tonight Above N Beyond gets the nod, but both horse are clearly at least good place hopes.
Need You Now is a last start winner and goes around in Race Eight.
"She went a nice mile down south, winning fresh up."
"I thought that the workout run last week was good too."
While the draw is not really ideal tonight, there does not appear a lot of speed inside on the frontline and John may be able to go forward and get in. If he gets the right run, she is a winning chance.
We look forward to what should be a brilliant night out at the track.
Posted: Fri 04 Oct 2019