B D Joe prevails in star-studded trial
By Michael Guerin
The big boys of harness racing are ready to return to the races judging by some satisfied trainers at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday.
Which means the Addington meeting on Friday week will boast the strongest line ups of the spring so far in both the pacing and trotting ranks.
Sundees Son was the first of the huge names out on Wednesday and he pleased driver John Dunn by easily overcoming his 40m handicap to win the 2600m main trot in 3:23.3, the last 800m in 59 seconds.
“I was very happy with that and he will go to Addington next week,” said Dunn, referring to the R71 and faster trot there.
The Canterbury Classic on Friday week was always going to be when the open class pacing ranks got serious and the main players in the fast-class heat on Wednesday looked ready.
The heat was won by B D Joe in 3:19, the last 800m in 55.7 seconds over Cranbourne, with the winner having the fitness edge after two recent races.
“We are really happy with his two runs so far so he will go to the Canterbury Classic next week and then Ashburton,” said co-trainer Steve Telfer.
Self Assured, who started alongside stablemate Spankem on the 40m backmark, was a close up third in the trial after driver Mark Purdon elected to stride forward and sit parked.
“I was happy with him and he had a bit of a blow after so he is ready for the races,” said Purdon.
Last campaign’s other group one winners South Coast Arden and Spankem were just behind the leading back but trainer-driver Brent Mangos says South Coast Arden is still very much at the improving stage.
“He needed that today and will come on with him but he still has a way to go and will improve with next week’s run too,” said Mangos.