Cullen makes pleasing start with new colours
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Hayden Cullen has had a pleasing first week in his new silks.
The Rolleston trainer debuted his new colours at Addington Raceway on Wednesday, recording a win with Cosmic Major, and things kicked up a notch at the Christchurch track on Friday with a winning treble.
“It has been a really good week, I couldn’t be happier,” Cullen said.
Cullen opened his account on Friday night with Dream On Me in the NZB Standardbred (Fillies) Mobile Pace (1980m).
The regally-bred filly had to do a bit of work early when pressed forward for the lead three-wide by driver Tim Williams.
The Bettor’s Delight filly captured the lead with a lap to go and did not relinquish her advantage, winning by 1-1/2 lengths over Am I Dreaming.
“I thought it was a really good run tonight,” Cullen said. “She is a filly who is still learning what she is doing on the racetrack, but she has continued to impress us.”
With Siblings the ilk of Group One winners Christen Me, Hands Christian, and Dream About Me, Dream On Me has a lot to live up to, but with two wins from two starts she has made a good start and Cullen expects that to continue.
“I think she is a filly that will continue to get better over the rest of the season,” he said.
“There is a Nevel R heat coming up shortly, but we will just see how she gets through the weekend.”
Pace N Pride also made it back-to-back victories in the Ian Dobson 3YO Classic (1980m) and now a stakes target beckons the exciting three-year-old.
“He is going super at the moment,” Cullen said. “It was a good, tough win tonight. Last week’s was as well, but he had to really work to get around the field and he really stuck to it right to the line tonight.
“We have got the Vero Stakes (Gr.2, 1980m) next week, so we will pencil that in for the moment.”
Rock Legend secured the treble for Cullen in the First Direct Taxis Mobile Pace (1980m) at odds ($9.20) not accustomed to the stable.
“He went awful two weeks ago, but he pulled up with a bit of a cold after the race,” Cullen said.
“His work has been quite good going into tonight, so it didn’t surprise me.”