News & Events

Terror To Love shines brightly in Ashburton

Has there been a more perfect NZ Cup trial?

Driver Ricky May enjoyed an armchair ride on Terror To Love in the Ashburton Flying Stakes and described the winning effort succinctly, “I can’t ask for any better than that”.

Terror To Love appeared peerless. His professional, polished performance resulted in him routing a very good Flying Stakes field. Such was the dominance of the win Terror To Love has now tumbled in to a $2.40 quote with the TAB bookies for the great race.

The weather was a factor on the day and in the race. Though the track was upgraded from slushy to easy in the middle of the programme the fire was definitely out of it. Some horses earlier in the day struggled in the conditions. The race also had some of the fire taken from it too. Not a lot of moves in the race, though Jimmy Curtin was very positive with Franco Emirate and Tony Herlihy didn’t miss a beat getting handy with God Ace and securing a great ride home.

Terror To Love was able to dictate the pace though, once he found the lead running into the last lap. There wasn’t a huge early burn and Blair Orange (Highview Tommy) was more than happy to hand over to the favourite for a drag home. Terror To Love came from the one-one but took advantage of an ideal situation.

Sprinting 25.9 for the final 400m from in front means you’re unbeatable. As a result rival drivers in the main were happy with their charges in behind. Mainly because they know the Cup will be a war, not merely a sprint home. Tony Herlihy was initially disappointed with Gold Ace (6th) but it was revealed later that he pulled a shoe. What impact that had on the horse is unclear but it certainly may have prevented him from hitting out in the run home and he did have a wee wobble near the top of the straight.

The best of the beaten brigade were clearly Franco Emirate (3rd) and Franco ledger fourth. While Franco Emirate was recovering from an early break and working hard, Fraco Ledger was storming home late. Both were tops runs, for different reasons. Both horses efforts enthused their supporters and made the bookies take notice.

The race also saw the end of the Cup trail for Rangataua Ray. The usually brilliant beginner has gone right off the standing starts this season and will now be restricted to mobile racing for the immediate future. That will also be the case for Sleepy Tripp who again left his manners at home in the standing start event won by Pure Power later on in the day.

For a full report on the reaction of all the drivers in the race click here.