A big impression


His rivals will need to look out when the real Nandolo comes to life.

The John Howe-trained pacer has already created a big impression this season and ran to his fifth career victory at Addington on Friday night.

Driver Jonny Cox has warned the classy four-year-old will be soon be an even stronger force when he fully masters the racing game.

The pacer was switching on and off during his front-running Addington win, signaling he still has a few things to learn.

“He has always been a nice horse and he is getting bigger and stronger, but he still wouldn’t go in front last night,” Cox said.

“He has got blinds on him to get him off the gate, but when he is in front, he can’t see the others.”

Cox coaxed Naholo up the Addington straight, simply keeping the horse’s mind on the job, rather than having to ask the horse full a full effort.

The reinsman said the pacer is much sharper when he has a horse to follow.

“He is still better in behind.”

“That last start he won at Addington, he had something to chase.”

“They run home in 56.4sec off the front, he has just got a massive turn of foot.”

Nandolo has been lightly raced this season by Howe, starting just eight times in a six-month campaign.

“They have always though a bit of him and they have raced him sparingly,” said Cox.

Nandolo held Step Up by more than a length at the finish.

The North Island raider and third placegetter, Mossdale Rose, both put in good trials ahead of next week’s Group 2 Premier Mares Championship at Addington.

This year’s Auckland Inter Dominions are a possible long-range target for Nandolo, Cox said.

Great Things Happens made a winning return to racing in the prior event.

The Gavin Smith-trained and driven square-gaiter was having his first start since a lung infection caused him to drop out of Marcoola’s Dominion in mid-November.

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