Christen Me assumes control

By Matt Markham

Cran Dalgety knows it’s not just a case of showing up and winning next week’s Easter Cup.

The West Melton horseman will take certain favourite Christen Me into the race but is under no disillusions that the Group One feature will be a lay down misère.

The Horse of the Year contender was a narrow but convincing winner of last night’s Gordon Roxburgh Free-For-All in his first appearance since winning the Auckland Cup and with natural progression will strip a much fitter horse in seven days.

And Dalgety hopes that will be enough.

“He might not have won by a big margin tonight, but I was very impressed with the win.

“Sitting parked on a good speed like that and fighting the way he did was pleasing and will go a long way to helping us next week.

“But it won’t be easy, we have to give some nice horses a head start and a horse like Ohoka Punter could be capable of going 4 minutes off the front which means we are going to need to go 3:58.

“So we certainly can’t afford to be slow away that’s for sure.’’

Just who is there to take Christen Me on next week is still up in the air.

We know both Christen Me and Terror To Love will be along with Tiger Tara, Ohoka Punter, Smolda and potentially Jason Rulz but whether horses like Border Control, Mossdale Connor, Jason Rulz and Pemberton Shard will be is uncertain.

Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen had initially planned to take Isaiah and Border Control to Forbury this week for the Dunedin Four and Five-Year-Old Championship.

It is understood though that Border Control’s eye-catching effort to finish second last night might be enough to convince them to tackle the Group One instead.

Tiger Tara, who finished third last night, looked a lot more like his old self and showed some fight to finish third after leading then trailing.

The soon to be retired Terror To Love – who hasn’t been sighted since the Inter Dominion Grand Final – was given a big tick from his camp ahead of his farewell race next week.

Burned to the lead by Ricky May he set up a solid clip and only his condition told in the last stages of the race.

“We are really happy with that,’’ Graham Court said.

“He needed a good run like that under his belt so it’s onwards and upwards to next week.’’