American Lightning on trial for Group Two assignment

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

A good result in the Magnum Automotive/Wanaka Auto Elec & Mechanical Mobile Pace (2200m) at Ascot Park Raceway on Saturday will have exciting three-year-old American Lightning in line for a Group Two test next month.

A tilt at the Gr.2 Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (2700m) on May 2 is on the cards and trainers Graeme Anderson and Mike Love are hoping for a solid hit-out ahead of the southern feature.

American Lightning has shown a lot of promise early on in his career, winning six of his 11 starts to date, and placed in the Gr.3 Kindergarten Stakes (1609m) when on debut in March last year.

The son of American Ideal has failed to finish in the top three on just three occasions, including last start at Wyndham where he finished seventh off a hot pace.

“He had no luck last week, got back to last and with a 26 quarter off the front he was never a hope,” said Anderson, who also part-owns the gelding.

American Lightning has drawn barrier seven on Saturday and Anderson said reinsman Matthew Williamson will drive him positively.

“We are going forward and hopefully put him in the race,” Anderson said.

“He is a good horse he just has to live up to his potential now. He has still got a good record and has been going well this week, so I am pretty hopeful.

“I think he will be hard to beat, he is probably the best horse in the race.”

Anderson will also line-up last-start winner Beaudiene Hustler in the Autosure New Zealand Mobile Pace (2200m).

Anderson said junior driver Sarah O’Reilly will adopt similar driving tactics to his last start heroics.

“He seems well and has done well since his last race,” Anderson said.

“He will go forward because he has got good, quick gate speed.

“We will try and get to the rail and get some cover, a bit like he did the last time he raced.

“Hopefully we will be following the right horse.”

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