Classie Brigade looking to go one better in time honoured Hannon Memorial
A Group Three winner at Addington last week, Classie Brigade heads to Oamaru this afternoon looking for more Group Three spoils in the Hannon Memorial. The now eight year old is racing as well as ever and will certainly give some of the young guns in the race something to chase.
Classie Brigade has proven himself one of the most genuine open class performers in the country over the last couple of seasons and has come back this campaign in fine fettle. He has had the five starts since resuming in July and has produced three placings, as well as last week's win. Driven by Blair Orange throughout those five starts, John takes over the reins today, hoping to go one better after being the runner up in the race behind Spankem last year.
The Hannon Memorial is a time honoured event, going back to the 1930's. Orginally run on grass and over the 2400m, it was a regular fixture on the New Zealand harness calendar at Labour Weekend, until the early 1990's, when it gave way to the Ashburton Flying Stakes which has occupied that date ever since. A race that has been won by any number of New Zealand Cup aspirants over the years, the 2020 edition contains a number of runners hoping to confirm their spot on the second Tuesday in November at Addington.
With the withdrawal during the week of both Spankem and Self Assured, Classie Brigade does look set to start a short-priced favourite this afternoon. His toughest opposition may well come from a couple of southerners in U May Cullect and Robyn's Playboy. The latter has been in dominant form in the south in recent weeks and is progressing well with this year's cup firmly in mind. The Greg and Nina Hope A G's Whitesocks will be another big chance if he can bring his "A" game this afternoon.
Classie Brigade is one of five runners that we have in this afternoon. The first of these is For Today in Race Three. While disappointing at Methven, John did think that the track may have been an attributing factor. There is not a lot of depth to this field and back to the all weather track, she does look a very good chance.
Surfer's Delight is a first starter for us in Race Four. He comes from the same family as others that have raced well for the stable in Pro Surfer and Wyatt Waller and has been a trial winner ahead of his debut. He has impressed with what he has done to date and if he was to get the bit of luck needed in the running looms as a very good each-way chance.
The older brother to Surfer's Delight, Pro Surfer, is back for his first run in 16 months in Race Five. While he will need the run today, he has shown promise in the past, even if his formline doesn't necessarily show it. With the right run, expect him to be getting home strongly.
The final runner for us is Mighty Looee in Race Seven. In a race for the junior drivers, he combines with Korbyn and should take all sorts of beating. This looks a dropback from last week at Methven and from a handy draw, he will no doubt get his best chance.
Posted: Sun 20 Sep 2020