Draw to test Vacation Hill
By Jonny Turner
A wide draw looks the only thing that can stop Vacation Hill’s recent progress in tonight’s Sires' Stakes Classique at Addington.
The Kevin Townley trained 3yr-old worked herself in to consistent form before being the first filly home in Cracker Hill’s Hambletonian Classic at Ashburton last weekend.
The Muscle Hill trotter powered home stylishly, leaving rival Tailored Elegance in her wake, to run in to fourth group 3 feature.
That effort not only continued her excellent run of top five placings, but showed how far Vacation Hill has come since first stepping out in August.
“I was very pleased with her in the Hambletonian, she has come right at the right time with all of the good racing coming up,” Townley said.
“I couldn’t be happier with her.”
“It took her about five starts to get everything together and get organised and her last three have been really good.”
Drawing the outside of the front line in barrier nine looks the biggest challenge Vacation Hill has in continuing her progression in tonight’s listed 1980m feature.
“Its a very tough draw,” Townley said.
“It will depend where she ends up from there.”
“It is a nice crop of fillies and there is a nice bit of depth there.”
“But, on what she has done I would think she up with any of them if things went her way.”
Tailored Elegance disappointed when battling in to seventh in the Hambletonian Classic.
Co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen reported on her stable’s website the wet Ashburton track could explain her filly’s flop.
“Tailored Elegance was certainly disappointing last week when I was expecting a lot better, but the track was crap and that could have been the story.”
“Actually she has had two starts on wet tracks and gone poor both times so back at Addington I would be expecting a lot better.”
Tailored Elegance has a major draw advantage over Vacation Hill in barrier 3.
The All Stars 3yr-old leading contender, Chloe Rose, inside her in barrier 1.
Townley also starts Immer Besser in race 8.
The filly ran a distant third behind impressive debutante Heroes Square at Addington last week.
“Heroes Square really put us in our place last week,” the trainer said.
“But, back to a normal looking maiden race this week she looks like she should be up to them and a nice chance.”
Heroes Square will start from barrier 1 in another of tonight’s features at Addington, the Lazarus Stakes.
Heroes Square’s main danger, Minstrel will start at the opposite end of the front line of the mobile in the 1980m event in barrier 6.
Minstrel was brilliant in two spring runs in Southland, winning in smart times at Gore and Winton.
The David and Catherine Butt trained 3yr-old showed he was ready to resume when beating leading 3yr-old One Change in a workout at Rangiora last week.