News & Events

Terror To Love - top tip, but no certainty

By Michael Guerin

Just when Terror To Love is starting to look unbeatable co-trainer Paul Court comes along and ruins the fun.

But the man who knows the New Zealand Cup winner better than anybody is worth listening to before you unload on the star pacer for tonight’s Canterbury Classic at Addington. Terror To Love is the $2.20 favourite for the next lead-up race to the NZ Cup and a $3.20 favourite for the great race itself. That comes after a stunning trial win three weeks ago was followed by an easy race night comeback victory a week later.

All of a sudden Terror To Love is everybody’s top pick for the Cup and a dominant favourite in a hot field tonight but he is starting to get into silly odds considering he has only won three of his 11 open class starts. Admittedly, all but one of those were last season and Terror To Love looks to have developed and matured whereas few of his open class rivals seem to have gone forward at the same rate.

“He is definitely bigger and stronger. In fact he weighs 20kgs more than last season,” confirms Court.

But the young trainer also warns while Terror To Love may be stronger, he is also still very much on the way up, which is the warning to heed tonight.

“We have designed his campaign to have him improving with every start until the Cup, more or less like last season.

“So he definitely isn’t screwed down now. He is very well and will be better than last start when he beat most of these but he could still get beaten.”

Particularly if an Auckland Reactor, Gold Ace or Mah Sish happened to roll to the front early and Terror To Love’s driver Ricky May has to start thinking about whether he wants to be parked out in a lead-up race, or come with one last run at the leaders. So while Terror To Love might be the best pacer in New Zealand today, punters should think twice about taking $2.20 tonight.

The race is crucial for Auckland Reactor, who never looked a winning chance on his comeback two weeks ago but still pleased trainer-driver Mark Purdon by running on. The enigmatic pacer can improve very quickly early in his campaigns and could easily win tonight but the start looks crucial as he wouldn’t want to settle near last, even in the small field.

Gold Ace will be a big fitness mover on his last start while Mah Sish is heading in the right direction, whereas the jury is still out on Sushi Sushi, who faces a tricky ace draw tonight.

While the pacers take centre stage the most intriguing question of the night will be whether I Can Doosit can overcome his 30m handicap in the Canterbury Park Trotting Cup? The great horse might be the best trotter in Australasia by 20m going on his form at the end of last season but he has to concede that much head start, as well as coming wide and avoiding traffic, against most of our star trotters tonight. He is so good he might simply sit parked and still win but there is a definite air of vulnerability about him tonight simply because of the composition of the field. Considering he will race in few handicap races for the remainder of this long season, tonight looks his rival’s best chance of claiming his scalp any time soon.