Dream Of You big chance despite backmark at Alexandra Park
By Michael Guerin
Dream Of You has often looked an open class trotter in the making and he just might need to be to win at Alexandra Park tonight.
The four-year-old trotter might end up being the best horse racing at tonight’s Winter Rewards meeting which sees four races boosted to $20,000 to reward those who have done the hard yards over winter.
One who has done those yards more successfully than most is Dream Of You, who faces a 20m backmark in the Dean Biddlecombe Memorial, the major trot of the Rewards Races.
It could end up being a huge test for him as some of his rivals off the front have trotted a fast 3:26 for tonight’s 27000m and if their drivers launch early Dream Of You might need to trot a new personal best to circle them and win.
Trainer Derek Balle thinks he can.
“He has always shown enough to suggest to the owners and us that he could be a good horse,” says Balle.
“He lost his way there for a while but has strengthened up and really come to it and the small field will help too.”
Dream Of You looked a smart horse right from his debut second, he won at his fourth start but then had 10 starts without a win before the penny dropped and the body matured.
He has now won four of his last 11 starts and looks one of the more progressive trotters in the north.
The small field and having over half his rivals starting on the 10m mark helps negate his 20m handicap tonight so the tempo and attitude of rival drivers may pose the biggest threat.
Another four-year-old who has shown plenty but been through his form troughs is Magic Four, one of the hardest to beat in race 8 tonight.
He provided one of the greatest upsets in recent NZ racing history when he beat Akuta in the Harness Millionn at 100-1 last season and while he won last start that was his first victory since last September.
He beat some of those he meets tonight but for all his giant-killer status, stable spokesman John Dunn believes Magic Four may need to improve on his last-start win to repeat.
“He went well but only just got up and this is a tricky little field,” says Dunn.
One key rival will be Simply Sam, who has struggled this season but looked sharp at the Pukekohe workouts last week and could get a more economical run tonight than he has had in some time.
The two other $20,000 Winter Rewards races look very even but one of the more interesting horses tonight is also from the Dunn stable in Great Northern Trotting Derby placegetter Aardie’s Peak (R4, No.4).
He has serious Group 1 form and was only let go late when an impressive second at the workouts last weekend but the key for him will be stepping safely over the 2200m. If he does and trots all the way he should win.
To see our experts' tips for tonight's Racing Rewards click here