Chase Auckland inching towards raceday comeback

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Former topliner Chase Auckland could be just days away from his first race in this country in 16 months.

The Auckland Reactor six-year-old came through his latest trial at Ashburton on Tuesday with a strong second behind stable-mate and star filly Bettor Twist.

“He led them up and she came off his back …. it was the hardest hit out he’s had and they ran 2:59 so it was a decent run,” said trainer Hayden Cullen.

Bettor Twist’s last 800 was in 54.2 though they were aided by a tailwind.

It was Chase Auckland’s third trial back and all going well Cullen will line up him up in a Free For All mobile pace at Addington next Friday (May 14).

“I will nominate him for that race and hopefully there’ll be enough to get the race off the ground”

If not then Plan B could be a standing start race the following week.

Chase Auckland hasn’t raced here since winning the Group Two Flying Mile at Cambridge on January 10 2020.

His last win before that was his defeat of Classie Brigade, New Zealand Cup winner Cruz Bromac and Spankem in the 2019 Show Day Free For All.

Overall Chase Auckland has won 14 races from 34 starts and earned $805,281.

But he has not raced since getting injured in Australia in February last year.

“He fractured a hock,” said Cullen.

Since then there’s been a lengthy rehabilitation, in Sydney and Matamata before heading to Cullen’s barn in January.

“He’s a very good horse , he’s in good nick and very strong.”

While Cullen’s taking it one trial, and hopefully one race, at a time there are ultimate hopes the bay gelding could be a player come November’s New Zealand Cup.

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