Anderson & Love’s contrasting duo
By Jonny Turner
There may not be as much between Graeme Anderson and Mike Love’s pairing of American Lightning and Tres Chic as punters are anticipating ahead of Sunday’s Waikouaiti Cup.
The Westwood Beach duo will make their grass track debuts at Oamaru in what is set to be a stern staying test over 3000m.
American Lightning is likely to start ahead of his stablemate in betting, but it would not surprise Anderson if the result went the other way.
Though what gives American Lightning a major advantage over Tres Chic going into the race is his standing start experience and his professional demeanour.
“He is probably the genuine horse, but Tres Chic has got ability,” Anderson said.
“American Lightning will go out there and step away be relaxed where as she is probably going to be fizzing walking around at the start for the first time, being a Mach Three.”
“He will just handle it like any other thing.”
American Lightning cruised to a comfortable victory on the Oamaru all-weather track in his last start and should strip fitter for that run when he starts from the 10m back mark in Sunday’s feature.
“He has worked up well and I am happy with him,” Anderson said.
“The grass and the 3000m should be right up his alley, he is quite a strong horse.”
The 2600m of the New Zealand Derby should hold no fears for Amercian Lightning if he is successful in Sunday’s 3000m event.
Though whether he makes use of his nomination for the group 1 feature later this season will not be decided for several weeks.
“He probably lacks a bit of high top-end speed to be with the top three-year-olds,” Anderson said.
“But he doesn’t lack any courage.”
“We will just see, we will get through Sunday.”
Anderson’s confidence in Tres Chic’s ability to go a strong race if she is able to negotiate her first standing start comes from her recent improvement.
Minor gear changes have helped the mare show her true ability in her two wins in her last two starts.
“We pulled her overcheck up and pulled her hopples up, she had been making a few mistakes and still going huge races.”
“But she is probably bullet proof now.”
How Tres Chic handles the build up before the Waikouaiti Cup tapes are released is her biggest challenge.
“Her work has been fantastic and she is looking great.”
“The worry is the standing start and having to walk around like going 300 times around the golf course before they line up.”
“It might get to her, but I have put her on the unruly to try to help that situation.
“She is really well and she is a strong mare.”
Just like American Lightning, Anderson sees no reason why Tres Chic will not handle grass track racing.
“Going down the beach it is a good way to get them used to grass track racing.”
“They are both the same and I wouldn’t be going if I thought it was a worry.”
Gilligans Island and Last Of The Mohicans looks the biggest threat to the Anderson-Love pairing.
Gilligans Island will be out to add the Waikouaiti Cup to his Amberley, Akaroa and Motukarara Christmas Cup victories when he starts from the 10m mark.
Last Of The Mohicans faces his biggest test Sunday’s feature after remaining unbeaten in three starts.