Day At The Track

Surprise entries for Cambridge Trot

09:01 AM 07 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Winterfell,Harness racing

Cambridge’s biggest harness meeting has been gifted a trotting bonus this Friday as the New Zealand assault on Victoria’s biggest races becomes clearer.

Both Inter Dominion champion Winterfell and excitement machine Oscar Bonavena are surprise entries for the $30,000 Les Harrison Transport Flying Stakes at Cambridge on Friday while New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer will headline the $50,000 McMillans Feeds Flying Mile for the pacers.

The latter’s clash with Chase Auckland, Mach Shard and past winner Star Galleria isn’t unexpected but the two standout trotters in the country heading to Friday’s meeting is.

Oscar Bonavena was expected to head straight to Australia after his Auckland campaign while Winterfell could have been spelled after his win in the National Trot last start because he has been a vastly superior version of himself right-handed at Alexandra Park.

But trainer Mark Purdon has opted to run him left-handed before he returns to Canterbury with Oscar Bonavena the stable’s sole rep for the A$250,000 Great Southern Star on February 1.

Open class stablemates Enhance Your Calm and Winterfell are not scheduled to head to Australia.

 Purdon has decided this season’s NZ Cup winner Cruz Bromac will miss Victoria and instead be aimed at the Miracle Mile in Sydney, with Auckland Cup winner Self Assured heading to Melton but only for the Bonanza on January 25, missing the Hunter Cup.

 That leaves Thefixer and Chase Auckland as stable’s only hopes in the Hunter Cup on February 1, while Smooth Deal will contest the Victoria Derby before heading to Sydney for the NSW Derby.

The stable has no plans to bring Amazing Dream to Australia for the Oaks while Princess Tiffany is another staying closer to home.

While other trainers sort out of their likely Australia teams the most likely traveller is Belle Of Montana coming to Melton for the Ladyship Mile there before returning home and being set for another Ladyship Mile in Sydney.


Michael Guerin

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