Curtin seeking more Cup Week success
By Jonny Turner
Trainer-driver Jim Curtin will seek more New Zealand Cup week success with his small team at Ashburton on Thursday.
The Templeton horseman closed out New Zealand Cup day when producing his lightly raced pacer Tango Tara to win its last race.
Curtin looks a big chance of scoring a race to race double by winning the next event of the New Zealand Cup Carnival - the first event at Ashburton.
He starts Zigzagzoo in a 2400m maiden trot, following the horse’s good first up run behind impressive Kaikoura winner, Madam Sass.
“He did go really good up there, I was really pleased with him,” Curtin said.
“I was a bit worried about how he would trot the bends, but he was pretty good.”
Zigzagzoo’s Kaikoura effort came in his first start since he raced New Zealand’s best 2yr-old trotters, last season.
The Majestic Son squaregaiter went sound races finishing in behind the placegetters in races won by Ultimate Stride and Muscle Mountain.
His first up effort showed Zigzagzoo had returned stronger from his winter break.
“I think he has come back a bit stronger - he is quite a big horse and I think he could be even better when he gets a bit older,” Curtin said.
Zigzagzoo could head towards this season’s 3yr-old trotting features if his form warrants it.
The trotter can help his cause in today’s race if he can hold out fellow 3yr-old, Vacation Hill.
The Kevin Townley trained squaregaiter also comes in to Thursday’s race after a last start second placing.
Bookmakers think Zigzagzoo can, rating him the early $3 favourite, ahead of Vacation Hill at $4.60.
Curtin also starts Kayla Maguire in race 9 at the Ashburton meeting.
She finished down the track in her first start for the second at Methven, recently.
The 4yr-old may need another start to show her best after doing too well during her winter spell.
“She is going to need a couple of runs because she has been carrying a bit of extra weight.”
“She is in a bit of an awkward place in the handicaps at the moment, racing horses that have won a few races.”
Race 9 features an exciting clash between emerging 3&4yr-olds.
3yr-olds Cloud Nine, A Delightful Act and Pink Flamingo Run each go in to the 2400m mobile event as last start winners.
4yr-olds Nirvana Beach and Portalerge come in to race 9 after running good second placing in their last starts.
Nirvana Beach and A Delightful Act opened equal $3 favourites with bookmakers.
Tango Tara’s neck win over the favourite Taxman has earned him some quiet time.
Curtin will bypass Friday’s Show Day meeting at Addington and target the quieter surrounds of Geraldine, later this month.
“I never intended to back him up on Show Day because he has had quite a few runs in a short time with going to the trials.”
“We might look at the Geraldine meeting with him.”
Tango Tara helped keep his family’s name in the spotlight after his close relation, Tiger Tara, missed his first New Zealand Cup carnival in six years.
Tango Tara is by A Rocknroll Dance from a half sister to the dam of Tiger Tara, who is by his sire, Bettor’s Delight.
Tango Tara shows some traits of Bettor’s Delight stock as a fair track worker, who steps his game up significantly on race day.
Niggling injuries, which Curtin described as wear and tear problems, meant the 4yr-old was spelled in January after making a brilliant start to his career.
Tango Tara is over those problems and Curtin is hopeful the horse can continue to fulfil his potential.