Cranbourne and Muscle Mountain star at Addington
By Michael Guerin
Proud trainer Brent White will focus on a smaller target before worrying about the obvious bigger one with brave Addington winner Cranbourne.
White’s tough pacer led most of the way even from his 25m handicap to win the Commodore Hotel Pace, the main handicap at Addington on Friday night.
To do so he not only had to work early but fend off a spirited mid-race challenge from Classie Brigade that left him a sitting duck but at the line Cranbourne was going away from Above N Beyond to win in a slick 3:13.7 for the 2600m stand on a wet track.
It was his 10th career success and first since the Methven Cup in October as Cranbourne continues to find his way in the open class ranks.
Soon trainer White and his owners will need to start making some decisions about when and if they start booking tickets north, where the real money is in the autumn.
“We have had a talk about it briefly and we are not sure,” he says about an Auckland Cup campaign in May.
“Part of me thinks hanging around down here and then trying all that stuff next year might not be a bad idea but then one of the owners points out that when you have a good horse racing well you never know if they will still be next year.”
While he mulls over those options White will instead lower his sights, with Cranbourne still eligible for an up to Rating 90 race at Addington next week, with a free-for-all programmed for his home track at Ashburton later in the month.
Cranbourne’s win was White’s third in a week and second in 30 hours as Better’s Tart won at Winton on Thursday and One Apollo last Saturday at Invercargill.
“It has been a good week and One Apollo will soon head over to Trevor Munday who is a mate of mine in Sydney and he can race at Menangle.”
It is hard to blame White for sending One Apollo off-shore when you see the raw power of Muscle Mountain, who downed stablemate Midnght Dash in the rare 2000m standing start open class trot an hour after Cranbourne’s win.
Matty Williamson, who was so good driving Cranbourne, tried the same tactics with Midnight Dash with a bold front running drive but in the Muscle Mountain was just too classy.
He was aided by a good beginning and a perfect steer from catch driver Ricky May as the big horse made it 15 wins from 24 starts and broke the national 2000m standing start record (yes, there is such a thing) in the process.
It was the same exacta as the main trot last week and whets the appetite for when the Hope pair, Sundees Son and Bolt For Brilliance can all lock horns again.