Australian campaign beckons for Midnight Dash
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Midnight Dash is set to join stablemate Muscle Mountain on an Australian campaign next month after his win at Addington Raceway on Friday.
Things didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts in the Airpark Canterbury Handicap Trot (2600m), with the five-year-old gelding rearing over before the start. However, he took no ill effects from the incident and made light work of his 40m mark to easily account for his opposition to win by two lengths.
It was just reward for the consistent square-gaiter who has acquitted himself well against some star competitors over the spring.
“He has been a really consistent horse, it’s just a shame that he has to come up against the likes of Muscle Mountain,” said Greg hope, who trains in partnership with his wife Nina.
“He is such an honest wee horse and gives it his all every time he goes out there.
“We probably wouldn’t have contemplated racing off 40m at Addington but for the fact that it was a small field and not having to go around too many.”
Hope is now keen to give the son of Muscle Hill a quick freshen-up prior to travelling to Australia for what could be a lengthy campaign.
“We are looking to give him a bit of a freshen because we are going to take him to Australia with Muscle Mountain. We are looking at heading over there on the 18th of January for the Great Southern Star,” Hope said.
“Muscle Mountain is going to go over for just a couple of races and we might keep Midnight Dash over there for half a dozen starts.
“We just don’t want to overtax Muscle Mountain, being the big horse that he is.
“We feel as though two or three starts will be ample for him, whereas Midnight Dash seems to cop the racing pretty well.”
Meanwhile, Hope is looking forward to heading to Rangiora on Sunday where he will line-up four runners, including Homebush Lad in the New World Rangiora Summer Cup (2600m).
He placed behind race rival Corravally Star in the Green Mile (1609m) at Methven last start and Hope said he will favour the grass surface once more this weekend.
“He has come through his Green Mile run really well. He is off a handicap (20m) and he will need things to go his way, but he races really well on the grass. He will go another great race,” Hope said.
The Hopes will also line-up Krystal Delight in the The Pop/RPW Classic Mobile Pace (2600m), Eurokash in the North Canterbury Trotting Hanidcap Trot (2600m), and Racingmissgracie in the Taggart Earthmoving Pace (1950m).
“Krystal Delight should acquit herself well. She has drawn well (2) and we are happy with her. She has trained on since her last run,” Hope said.
“Eurokash is fresh-up and has trialled up super, I am really happy with where he is at. He probably won’t be driven too hard first-up, but we are really happy with where he is at.
“Racingmissgracie is an honest filly and with the right run she can get a bit more money. It is quite a nice maiden field, so she will have to be on her best behaviour. But she will go her usual honest race.