Nairn going for four


Brookside trainer Paul Nairn shoots for his fourth win in the $30,000 Alabar DG Jones Trotting Cup at Banks Peninsula (2810m) on Sunday with top mare Habibti Ivy.

Nairn previously scored with topliner Call Me Now in 1994 and also won a double in 2002-03 with that horse’s son Call You Later.

Habibti Ivy ($1.70 win fixed odds) was a bold fresh-up second, but broke badly behind the mobile at Addington two weeks ago for driver Blair Orange and was pulled up.

She's won five of nine standing starts and been placed in three for an overall record of eight wins in 18 starts, and has two wins from four on the grass.

In-form Amaretto Sun ($8.20) has a good chance to extend a useful grass record (three wins from seven starts) and trainer Ken Ford is gunning for his third win in the race, having won it with Midnight Invasion in 2008 and Zachary Binx ($12.50) two years ago.

Destiny Jones ($4.50), winner of Addington's Ordeal Trotting Cup two weeks ago for driver Ricky May, and the consistent Belles Son ($11), along with her half-sister Arya ($21), will also have supporters.

Shadow Rider, a nine-year-old who has won four on the Motukarara track, could spice up multiples in race seven, fresh-up since March.

He won a pacing workout on the course’s all-weather track last Saturday, finishing best along the markers in 3:31.8 for the stand start 2600m, the leaders running their last 800m in 58.7sec and closing 400m in 28.8.

The Julius Caesar gelding resumes from the inside of the second row in the Bob Geddes Memorial Mobile Pace for driver Colin DeFilippi.

DeFiliippi has driven him in his five career wins for former trainer Frank Shrives, all on grass tracks and four at Motukarara. Shadow Rider has also placed nine times in 31 starts on the track.

The horse won first-up last spring on the grass at Methven, but hasn't raced since signing off for Shrives with his usual honest showing with a fourth on the grass at Reefton in March.

Shrives, who turned 68 two weeks ago, passed the training of Shadow Rider on to Kevin Deuart, husband of co-owner Carol, after retiring in March and moving from West Melton to Christchurch.

Formerly one of harness racing's unsung hobby trainers, Shrives did a good job with a small team. Koau King (seven wins, promoted fourth as the outsider in Golden Reign’s 1995 Addington Inter-Dominion Pacing Grand Final), Dusty Dollar (five NZ wins) and Abmidas (four NZ wins), were his other notable winners.

Shadow Rider, a winner of $48,744, has always been a fun horse for Shrives, Carol Deuart and other co-owners, now the estate of Peter Pearce, and Martin Pearce, who all contribute to expenses in their own ways, supplying feed, grazing etc.

‘’We work on a barter system. Everything goes in the bin and we have a big square up occasionally," Shrives said.

‘’Pete, who got crook and died before Christmas, said he couldn't see him in his races so I put an orange shadow blind on him.

“He said he still couldn't see him, so I added an orange breastplate as well so he could see him.”

Shadow Rider will have a change from tangerine to Deuart’s two-tone blue jacket colours on Sunday, but Deuart retained the former trainer's trademark orange shadow blind and breastplate when the horse resumed at the workouts.

It wouldn't surprise if he runs first four, with My Wee Man, OK I'm Bad, Diamond Life and Glenisthebettor the leading chances.


Race 1: Highland Reign 1, Mr Midnight 2, Eja Patron 3, As Kiwi As 4.

Race 2: Monarco 1, Honeys Son 2, Girlz N Boyz 3, Show Of Faith 4.

Race 3: Lucy Diamond 1, Bicton 2, The Red Baron 3, Downtown Train 4.

Race 4: The Go To Man 1, Boomer 2, Chaaat 3, Red Terror 4.

Race 5: Mongolian Mars 1, Gore Bay 2, Dundee Lady 3, Bettor Rock Again 4.

Race 6: Medusa 1, Soney Beatt 2, Momentous 3, Glenis Marie 4.

Race 7: My Wee Man 1, OK I’m Bad 2, Marat Saf Finn 3, Glenisthebettor 4.

Race 8: Amaretto Sun 1, Habibti Ivy 2, Destiny Jones 3, Belles Son 4.

Race 9: Run Boy Run 1, Clasina Maria 2, Augusta 3, Rocki Warrior 4.

Race 10: Goodlookin Chick 1, She’sa Tricky Bridge 2, Laytons Lass 3, Veneto 4.