News

The real deal seeks Hannon

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Seel The Deal has not raced for seven months, but will be a big threat to hot favourite Titan Banner in the $25,000 Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on Sunday, according to Canterbury co-trainer Greg Hope.

The 2600m standing-start event is the ideal pipe-opener for impressive triallist Seel The Deal ($5 fixed odds), who is unbeaten in four races fresh-up and generally makes a swift beginning.

“He’s the best standing start horse I’ve ever had by a country mile,’’ said Hope.

“He could beat Mossdale Conner (13 wins) out of the barrier.

“He is very good in front, but I will leave it with (driver) Ricky (May) about what he wants to do.

“We are very confident that he’ll go a great race. It will be disappointing if he’s not in the top three on how he is training.

‘’He trialled up super and is a very nice horse.’’

The seven-year-old son of American Ideal has only had 21 starts for nine wins due to niggling injuries, but Hope and co-trainer, wife Nina, have him humming along Woodend Beach.

“He had a wee fracture in a knee but that’s all healed up and he seems good. He’s as forward as he can be without having a race.

‘’This will be his toughest test fresh-up and Titan Banner ($1.70) has races under his belt, you’ve got to respect him.

“I still think our fella won’t be too much inferior.’’

The Hopes plan to race him in the Methven Cup on October 15 and then head to the $800,000 NZ Cup (3200m) on November 14.

“He’s such a great staying horse … there’s no reason why he won’t run the two miles.’’

Hope confirmed that Hannon entrant Usain Colt (nine wins) was scratched after being sold to clients of Sydney trainer David Aiken.

The stable have Boults On Fire and Unico Legend in the fifth leg of the $50K Pick6 at Oamaru, and Hope says there isn’t much between them.

Boults On Fire is shooting for four straight wins after a two-month freshen-up.

“I’m really happy with where he’s at in training and he seems pretty forward, but there’s nothing like a race start.

“It will be down to the runs they get. They are both good chances.’’

Trotters Petite One and Everybody Knows are in the second leg of Pick6.

“Petite One if she hadn’t over-raced the other day could have run a lot closer in the Ordeal Cup (fifth) and she’s a good first-three chance.’’

Everybody Knows has had two quiet workouts since being spelled in early April and had ‘’gone great’’.

‘’Ricky has been rapt with the way he’s been trotting.

“He’s got to give the other mare 10 metres, but I do feel he’s come back a bit stronger.’’

He said champion trotter Monbet (23 wins),who has not raced for 10 months due to injury, would not go to the workouts this week as planned, but would trial the following week.

‘’He had a little bit of heat in one of his legs and I just wanted to get it checked out by the vet.

‘’We’ve got plenty of time up our sleeves and I just wanted to make sure he’s a 100 per cent right before I take him anywhere.

“We’re really lucky that he comes up quickly and he has been working nice.’’