Eurokash gets it right in the end at Alexandra Park
By Michael Guerin
Eurokash proved the perfect replacement for champion stablemate Muscle Mountain in the $45,000 Fiskens and Son Anzac Cup at Alexandra Park on Friday but the result could have been vastly different.
Trainers Greg and Nina Hope decided to bypass the trotting feature with their champion and Eurokash was asked to step into the huge shoes as their Anzac Cup horse and at the first attempt he didn’t do a very good job.
Eurokash stunned the Hopes by galloping badly at the start but to their relief it was declared a false start.
So Eurokash got another shot at beginning safely, then another, then another as the race became an embarrassment, with three false starts for horses who really should know better.
It eventually ran 15 minutes late but with every false start Eurokash began better and when the real race started he stepped straight into the trail behind Resolve, who was extremely stirred up by the whole debacle and in no mood to settle.
So she ran the backmarkers off their hooves, which suited Eurokash and John Dunn did the rest up the passing lane to win the Group 2.
But while the Anzac Cup has been a great lead-up to the Rowe Cup it was different on Friday because it was a handicap 2200m and because the Rowe Cup favourite wasn’t there.
But he was when Eurokash returned to the stables.
Muscle Mountain accompanied his stablemate to the races and was actually stabled beside him, looking fit and lean for next week’s Group 1.
“He probably can’t beat Muscle Mountain next week but he is a good stayer and likes it right handed which is one reason he is up here,” said Nina Hope.
Oscar Bonavena had a good Rowe Cup trial after having no chance in the middle stages while All Cashed Up was a good third causing one of the false starts while any of those who were back in the field can be forgiven but it is still hard to see them beating Hope’s hero next Friday.
Later in the night another Canterbury trotter in Confessional thrashed his rivals in the Lone Star Sires’ Stakes Trot.
Trainer-driver Paul Nairn liberated the three-year-old over the last lap and as so many of Nairn’s trotter do he just kept on running, putting the result beyond doubt as he powered away.
“He is a very good stayer so it is best to drive him like that,” says Nairn.
“He is a real Derby horse, having that Habibti family blood.”