Herlihy pinches Superstars Championship

By Matt Markham

He’s still playing it cautious, but Tony Herlihy is starting to get a little excited about the future and Ohoka Punter.

And after the trials and tribulations that our most successful reinsman has endured with his star pacer, he’s got every reason to feel like things are finally on the up.

The former Northern Derby winner made light work of his return trip to Addington Raceway in winning the Superstars Championship.

Actually, winning might be a little off the mark.

Ohoka Punter, and more to the point, Herlihy, stole it.

Allowed to dictate his own terms in front, Herlihy adapted the age old adage of if you’re in front and can go slow, do so.

That results in some borderline ridiculous sectionals for a $44,000 black type race – but Herlihy had no need to go quicker.

“The small field races are often a little bit tricky,’’ Herlihy said.

“It wasn’t much more than a sprint home, but the way in which he did it really pleased me.

“To be fair he’s actually better when he come off the back of another horse.’’

Following on from his third placing in the Auckland Cup – Ohoka Punter was backed into short-priced favouritism and didn’t let the side down with his victory.

While clearly pleased with the performance, Herlihy was still hoping for something a little more taxing.

“I’ll bring him back here again next week before the Easter Cup because that was just a workout really.

“Racing under the belt is the key with him, he’s just getting better and better as we go along.’’

Herlihy said the five-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight is currently as sound as he can be and he’s touch wood hoping that remains for a long time as there are some hefty targets on offer over the next month.

“It’s so far so good with him, but you’re always cautious not to get too far ahead of yourself.’’

Dalton Bromac’s effort to run third was full of merit considering he hasn’t raced since Christmas Eve.

Both Brendon Hill and Ricky May were over the moon with the effort – but pondering where to head next.

“We have a few options but we need to sit down and work it all out.’’

Tiger Tara who enjoyed a good trip in the trail boxed on well for third in a race that didn’t really suit.