Christen Me returns

By Michael Guerin

Trainer Cran Dalgety says Christen Me is ready to put another nail in harness racing’s Horse of the Year debate at Addington tomorrow night.

The Miracle Mile, Victoria and Auckland Cup winner is a surprise entry for the $25,000 pacing free-for-all over his pet distance of 1950m, the final lead-up to next week’s Easter Cup.

They will be Christen Me’s last two races for the season and a chance to burn his dominance into the minds of voters for the Horse of the Year, which is awarded in August.

His biggest, and probably only rival, for the main award is close relation Adore Me, but the fact he has beaten her the last four times they met and his nose win in the Auckland Cup means he might be shading her for the title.

If he wins tomorrow night and again on Saturday week, the title will almost certainly be his.“It would be great to get because the competition is so strong this year,” says Dalgety.

“Any more wins would help and I couldn’t be happier with him.“He has come back from Auckland a treat and is working great.

“He may not have raced for three weeks but he has always gone well fresh and with a scratching inside him he comes into barrier seven.

“So really he should be able to lead and then it would take something special to beat him.

”Christen Me opened $1.65 but was immediately punted into $1.50, including a single bet of $4000.

He is one of several short priced favourites as harness racing’s big boys come out to play tomorrow night.

Stent is odds-on to win the NZ Trotting Champs, while Follow The Stars opened $2 over stablemate Have Faith In Me at $2.60 in the NZ Derby.

The best betting race of the group events tomorrow night is the Trotting Derby, in which Prince Fearless opened $2.80 but was backed into $2.50.He has the draw advantage over Speeding Spur and Monbet, with last Friday’s Oaks winner Habibti Ivy taking on the boys.