Ohoka Punter to tackle Addington

By Michael Guerin

Punters needn’t worry about any Auckland Cup hangover for Ohoka Punter as he heads to Addington this Friday.

In fact trainer Tony Herlihy says the five-year-old couldn’t be better heading into the $44,444 Superstars Championship.

Ohoka Punter finally looked back to his best with a close third to Christen Me and Adore Me in the Auckland Cup 12 days ago, even looking the possible winner as he poked his big head up the passing lane at the 150m.

There was no disgrace in his defeat at the hooves of our two best pacers, especially as the winner carved two seconds off the national 2700m mobile record.

While Ohoka Punter meets some serious horses like Isaiah, Dalton Bromac, Tiger Tara and Border Control on Friday, none of them would have gone any better in the Cup so with barrier two he has to be hard to beat.

“He has come through the Cup well, which is great because it was such a fast run race,” says Herlihy.

“He is down here now and settled in well and it looks a good race for him.

“He likes Addington, as most horses do, and while it is a good field he will be close up.”

Barrier two in the 2600m mobile gives Ohoka Punter options and it is hard to see him being anywhere but handy to the speed, if not in front.

Safely through Friday night he is likely to head straight to the Easter Cup, where he should get at least a 20m start from Terror To Love and Christen Me.

“And he even has the option of the free-for-all next week as well.”

Herlihy also has The Fascinator in the Breeders Stakes on Friday night and while it is hard to see her winning the group one, she has the ace draw and a great shot at placing.

“She has also travelled down well and follows any speed so the No.1 draw is perfect.”

Herlihy has elected to go hit and run on next week’s Derby with Express Stride, missing Friday’s Flying Stakes.

“He was good in the Derby up home after missing that early dig for the lead and pulling in the middle stages.

“But I thought one race down here would do him.”

The TAB will release markets for Friday’s five group races on Wednesday morning.