Didjabringthebeers happy to be home
By Jonny Turner
Canterbury trotter Didjabringthebeers has been back in his happy place ahead of today’s feature trot at Omakau.
The 6yr-old brings a patchy form line in to the 2000m mobile event thanks to a less than impressive Interdominion campaign.
The Monarchy squaregaiter was clearly off his game during the Alexandra Park series, producing two uncharacteristic breaks in its last two heats.
Exactly why the horse was not happy in Auckland remains a mystery to trainer John Howe.
But what is clear to the West Melton horseman is that his trotter is happy to be home.
“I am not exactly sure what went on in Auckland to be honest,” Howe said.
“I don’t think it was the right-handed way of going because he has worked really well that way down here.”
“Something wasn’t right, he just wasn’t happy up there.”
Didjabringthebeers has not started since he was pulled up on night three of the Interdominions, nearly a month ago.
Howe has no concerns about his 6yr-old’s fitness going in to today’s race with that gap between races.
“He seems to have bounced back well,” Howe said.
“I gave him a good hit out at home this week and he seems pretty right.”
The last time Didjabringthebeers faced conditions similar to today’s race – racing left handed over a sprint distance – he produced a career best effort for third behind Tough Monarch in the group 1 New Zealand Free For All at Addington.
Fellow Interdominion campaigner Pres The Belle looks one of the horses to beat in today’s feature trot.
The Robert Dunn trained trotter relished a drop in class from the Auckland series when showing brilliant gate speed to lead an win her last start at Addington.
Heavyweight Hero, who is another leading contender for today’s race, was left in Pres The Belle’s wake when six length behind her in second.
Howe also starts Nandolo in today’s Central Otago Trotting Cup.
The trainer expects the pacer to be fitter for his last start fourth in the Ashburton Cup.
Nandolo was run down by three horses rated at longer odds than him, including Central Otago Trotting Cup rival Heisenberg, in the Christmas Eve event.
Howe suspects the horse’s fitness was not quite up to the mark and he should strip in better condition on Thursday.
“He got away on me a bit, he had a really good blow after the race, he might have been a run short.”
“To my eye he had Heisenberg beaten at the top of the straight and next thing he got tired in the last 150m.”
“But, he was the first horse home off 30m.”
Nandolo and Heisenberg will start from level marks from behind the mobile on Thursday.
Howe’s day starts in race 7 when Aladdin Sane lines up after winning his first start for the season at Ashburton.
The 4yr-old will clash with highly talented Southland trotter Chinese Whisper and the consistent Only One Way.