News

Stormont in for a good night

NZ HARNESS NEWS

 

Trainer-driver James Stormont  takes his promising trotter Forfeathers to the races for the second time this season at Auckland tonight after his strong first-up win on August 31.

He resumed in an easier race on August 31 and faces a stiff rise in grade, taking on the tighter-assessed trotters over 2700 metres.

“He’s actually missed a little bit of work and I would say he is still only at about 90 per cent fitness. He jumped on his quarter in the paddock last week and bruised his foot,” said Stormont.

Forfeathers is still lightly raced (12 starts), but did win races at two and three.

 “I’m a lot happier with him this time in, he’s a lot stronger this year.”

He’s off the front this week, but with a slight fitness query, Stormont thinks handing up to one of the two noted pacemakers – Commander Paris and Djokovic – makes the most sense.

“We’ll just see what happens; if they leave me alone I’ll be happy to bowl along in front. But we can’t afford to go 3.33 as The Almighty Johnson can easily go 3.30 off his 30-metre handicap and win.

“So it will be about going fast enough to take the back-markers out of it, but not too fast that he blows out.”

In the night’s feature pace, a mobile free for all sprint (1700m), No Doctor Needed, Better B Amazed and Hug The Wind clash again on their way toward September 29’s Spring Cup.

BEST: Whitehaven Beach (R2)

LONGSHOT: Bubbles O’Leary (R4)