News

Ottley chasing Cup dream

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Driver Samantha Ottley will start chasing her New Zealand Cup dream with Forgotten Highway on Tuesday.

The group 1 winning reinswoman will have her first drive in the 3200m feature behind the Mitchell Kerr-trained pacer.

Ottley is thrilled to have booked her chance to win New Zealand’s greatest race.

“It is the biggest race of the year and you dream of having a drive in it and it is finally happening,” she said.

Ottley, Kerr and Forgotten Highway form what could be considered a rookie attack on this year’s New Zealand cup.

Kerr is also having his crack at the event with a horse having just his third Gr.1 start.

What the trio may lack in cup experience is made up for with talent.

Kerr’s astute record as a trainer and Ottley’s rise to the top tier of the New Zealand driving ranks are evidence of that.

Forgotten Highway’s excellent lead up form signals he has solid each way claims in the race at the least.

Though attempting to register just his sixth career-win in the New Zealand cup is a rare feat, Forgotten Highway looks to have struck the right year to do it.

“It is a very even cup this year, so everyone has got a show,” Ottley said.

“What he has done in his runs leading up to the cup has been very, very pleasing.”

“He is sort of only a baby really, when you look at what he has done.

“He has been chucked in with the big boys and he has stepped up.

“Every run this time he has got better and better, I have felt.

“He is not without a show and with an ounce of luck, you never know.”

Ottley will seek Dominion Handicap glory with Destiny Jones next week.

The trotter will firstly race in the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All on Tuesday.

Destiny Jones began the spring in brilliant form, which now looks to have tailed off.

However, Ottley said punters should disregard the trotter’s plain last-start performance and her failure at the New Zealand Cup trials.

“She is going better than it looks on paper.
“I wouldn’t read too much in to her run at Kaikoura or even at the cup trials, she went around with a flat tyre from the end of the back straight.”