Day At The Track

Addington Preview - April 9th Premier

05:27 PM 08 Apr 2021 NZST
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It’s NZ Derby night at Addington on Friday.

Here we look through some of the quality fields and Group features on the harness racing card.

The first of the Group 1 races is due to go at 7.01pm with the running of the Fred Shaw Memorial Trotting Championship.

It promises to be one of the more exciting races of the night as we see Sundees Son, Oscar Bonavena and Bolt For Brilliance clash along with the progressive and talented Greg and Nina Hope trained pair of Midnight Dash and Muscle Mountain. The game mare Vacation Hill is also here but draws an outside barrier. There’ll be no mercy, the race most likely a war of attrition. Show us your guts and show us your heart. May the best trotter win.

The Avon City Ford Welcome Stakes is due to run at 7.29pm for a stake of $50’000 over the 1980m sprint distance.

On first look you’d imagine that Akuta will be hard to beat given his Southern win in the Kindergarten Stakes although he’ll face tough opposition from both Franco Mac and Cosmic Major. Arden’s Horizon makes the trip down after a Alexandra Park victory and will have options from the front line draw.

The Livamol Trotting Derby at Group 1 level is the next feature on the card and sees a class field assembled for a 2600m mobile trotting event.

The tote favourite comes in the form of the Craig and Aimee Edmonds trained Five Wise Men. Wise men have dictated that the son of Muscle Hill should go out shorter on the tote than the rest and rightfully so after his run of victories of late. He’ll operate from the #7 draw with J Dunn guiding him around the track. You’d  think that the 2600m distance would sort the quality out from the pretenders in this and we should see the best crowned barring any errant manners. Love N The Port, Leaf Stride and Son Of Patrick should all be respected on exposed form.

Arguably the feature on this great card of action comes around at 8.29pm in the form of the Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Pacing Derby.

Former winners of the event include Caduceus (1953) Noodlum (1974) Westburn Grant (1989) and Courage Under Fire (1999) while the All Stars barn have dominated much of the recent history of the race with Fly Like An Eagle, Border Control, Have Faith In Me, Lazarus, Vincent and Ultimate Sniper all winning the event in the last decade.

The pre-race talk this year has been dominated by the Chrissie and Cran Dalgety trained Krug, an animal of immense ability, his last three wins have all been superb. He, like most of the field, will be tested by the 2600m distance although you’d have to think that the further they go the better his chances.

The Hayden Cullen team is spearheaded by It’s All About Faith who has been well down on his best over recent weeks. His ability to settle mid-race will no doubt prove crucial to his chances late in this. Other chances lie with the R J Dunn team and the underrated Got You Covered, the horse has been burdened by some horror draws of late but has been finishing off his races better than most and could be the giant killer if able to find himself close to the action come the final furlong. B D Joe, the Telfer trained son of Roll With Joe, also demands respect with his late charge to the line last time sure to get a few people interested in his chances. Luke John (drawn #2) and Ragazzo Mach (drawn #15) would have to be included in thoughts also.

While it would seem Krug holds sway over the field this is an interesting edition of the Derby all the same.

The last feature on the card comes up at 9.28pm. The IRT Superstars 4YO & 5YO Pacers Championship at Group 2 level will be a helter-skelter affair over the 1980m distance.

The field is a good one and has attracted a strong contingent of open-class types. The impressive Cranbourne, as tough as they come, looms as one of the main chances along with the J Curtain trained Tango Tara who’ll benefit from a nice draw. Other chances in this field come in the form of the Cullen trained Self Assured and Amazing Dream with both animals knowing how to win at the highest of levels.  The explosive speed of Pembrook Playboy may been seen late as he’s drawn wide while Belmont Major (drawn #1) will most probably receive an economical run throughout and have something to offer his followers late.

A fine night of premier racing at Addington.


Ben McMillan 

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