Day At The Track

Shark to sharpen up

09:04 AM 19 Jun 2017 NZST
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Lennytheshark,Harness racing
Lennytheshark

David Aiken has a few words of warning for anyone doubting Lennytheshark ahead of next Sunday’s Group 1 Len Smith Mile.

“He’ll be right. This is what he’s been set for. You’ll see the best of Lenny this week,” he said.

Doubters emerged when the champ led, dictated and was easily rundown by Tiger Tara and Mach Doro in the Golden Mile at Menangle last Saturday week.

“It turned out he needed the run a bit more than we thought and, in retrospect, Chris (Alford, driver) probably should’ve got going on him a bit earlier and made them chase him more than they had to,” Aiken said.

“As much you’d love to win them all, you can’t. The Len Smith is what we’ve set him for.”

To have Lennytheshark absolutely primed, Aiken will trial him at Menangle on Tuesday.

“It won’t be a hard trial, but just gives me the chance to give him the hitout he needs to be spot on,” he said. “As he’s shown us so many times before, he thrives on racing and a trial this week will be close to another race.”

Aiken again finds himself torn heading into the Len Smith with star stablemates Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay to clash again.

Hectorjayjay scored his biggest win so far whennhe stormed home to upset Lennytheshark in last year’s Len Smith Mile, but Lennytheshark gained revenge when he beat a hot field, including Hector, in the Miracle Mile earlier this year.

Aiken is a great position, but was quick to say it’s not just a matter of which of his stable stars wins this week.

“I’ve got huge respect for Tiger Tara. He’s right in this race the way he’s going,” he said.

Tiger Tara came from off the pace to beat Lennytheshark in the Golden Mile, then backed-up last Saturday night with a very gallant second to Hectorjayjay in the 2300m free-for-all at Menangle.

Hectorjayjay settled in front of Tiger Tara after the start and driver Josh Aiken made an early move around the field to take the lead, while Tiger Tara moved last in the middle stages to sit parked.

Hectorjayjay zipped home in 54.4 and 26.7sec to hold-off Tiger Tara and win by 2.4m in a 1min54.4sec mile rate for the longer 2300m trip.

“Hector pulled-up like he needed the run after his first-up win at Melton which is why we backed him at Menangle. I’m glad we did, it should’ve topped him off nicely,” he said.


Adam Hamilton

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