Double Time aiming to double up in Marlborough Cup
By Michael Guerin
Two horses who each had excuses not to win the prelude race should dominate the $25,000 Cabins2U Marlborough Cup today.
The second day of the two-day meeting has a logical form line leading through the almost indentical meeting on the grass on Friday.
On that occasion Double Time beat Mossdale Ben in the Prelude even though both had few favours.
Double Time sat parked for half the race and yet was still too strong, no small performance in this grade, but his biggest challenger Mossdale Ben undid himself by pacing roughly when pulled out to challenge in the home straight.
So you could say both runs had huge merit and it is hard to go past the pair when they step up to the 2850m today.
One key difference is Double Time couldn’t be re-handicapped for his win so stays on the front line whereas Mossdale Ben remains on the 30m mark.
“I was thrilled with how our guy toughed it out on Friday,” says driver John Dunn.
“It is not easy sitting parked to win these races and with staying on the same handicap he can win again.
“The extra distance won’t bother him and hopefully we can step a little better and get the front as that would be a huge help.”
Double Time raced some of our best three-year-olds last season and it took Alta Meteor to beat him in the Nelson Cup last Sunday so it would seem only Mossdale Ben or circuit newcomer Get Up N Dance could beat him today if he races up to the same level.
Mossdale Ben is obviously the class horse of the field, having finished fifth and relegated to sixth in the New Zealand Cup and fourth in the NZ Free-For-All so if he can get the right tow into the race he is the obvious danger.
The Trotter’s Cup today is shorn of last weekend’s double winner at Nelson in Sundees Sister, who Dunn says is on a transporter to Auckland this week.
“She will go to the mare’s race at Cambridge on Monday week and then stay in Auckland for a while and we might even see if there is a race for her Harness Million night (Feb 16) at Alexandra Park.”
Sticking with the theme that first day form will hold true today makes Muscle Bank the clear top chance in the $25,000 Trotter’s Cup as she was a brilliant winner on Friday, half her six career victories have come on grass and she was already backed in from $2.50 to $2.20 last night.