Terror out of the Auckland Cup

 By Matt Markham

Terror To Love is out of this week’s Auckland Cup – but his career might still have one more twist.

The defending champion was scratched from the Group One feature on Friday night this afternoon by his connections as he struggles to overcome issues with his heels which he pulled up with following his run in the Inter Dominion Grand Final at Menangle on Sunday.

The three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner returned to New Zealand from Australia in the early hours of this morning and co-trainer Paul Court said he knew almost instantly that his, and his father Graham’s, stable star wasn’t going round at Alexandra Park.

“He’s just not himself,’’ Court said.

“You can tell it’s bothering him a lot too.

“We were going to wait until tomorrow (Wednesday) after we had taken him to the beach before we made a decision but I’ve just brought him in out of the paddock and there’s no way we can him right for this week.’’

But while his scratching will bring the predictable rumours that the champion pacer’s career is over – Court was quick to state that this week’s mishap in no way means that they are about to call time.

It has always been the hope for connections that his final race would be at his beloved Addington and that’s exactly what the Courts are aiming towards.

“I’ll give him a couple of days on the beach up here before we get him home.

“From there we will try and aim our way towards the Easter Cup where he can have his send-off.’’

The prospect of a farewell for one of Canterbury’s favourite sons on Easter Cup night at Addington will have Addington bosses frothing at the mouth.

Easter Cup night is a Saturday night and the possibility of pulling a big crowd in to see the champ off is very high.

Terror To Love’s omission from this week does open the door for Ricky May to jump on board Jason Rulz in the $250,000 Group One.

The Greg and Nina Hope trained pacer looked a lot more like his old self when booming home late in last week’s lead-in race to finish an unlucky second behind Ohoka Punter.