Fast horses for May at Fast10
By Jonny Turner
Champion reinsman Ricky May is a driver to follow when the new Fast10 harness racing concept is unveiled at Addington today.
Two Canterbury trots enthusiasts are behind the drive to add excitement and interest in the sport by offering quickfire racing in what is being branded as harness racing’s take on Twenty20 cricket.
Glen Hames and Tony Russell have worked on the Fast10 concept for two years and believe it will “reignite passion and interest in the industry while creating a fun and exciting event to appeal to new customers”.
10 horse fields, all mobile starts, 18 minute gaps between races and a stream of on-course entertainment and innovations await Addington racegoers at the inaugural running of the Fast10 meeting.
May is a reinsman that has witnessed all manner of changes to harness racing during his career of more than four decades.
The winner of 2,941 races in New Zealand looks well placed to enjoy success at Friday’s meeting with his strong book of nine drives.
May rates impressive recent winner Ranger Bomb, who lines up in race 9, the best of his chances.
The Mark Jones and Brendon Hill trained 3yr-old bolted in by more than five lengths after leading in his last start at Addington.
May hopes Ranger Bomb can do the same again from barrier 1.
“He was pretty good last time, he got attacked early and still won pretty impressively,” the driver said.
“And he ran good time.”
“From [barrier] 1 we will probably have to try to hold up and lead again.”
May combines with another smart 3yr-old in Luella in race 6.
The filly gave the reinsman the feel of a horse that would win more races when making a successful start to her career at Nelson, last season.
“She did pretty well up at Nelson and she felt like a pretty smart filly that would go on with it.”
May was not in the sulky when Luella trialled solidly behind her main rival, Delma Craze, at Rangiora recently.
May has driven Oaxacan Dream in her recent trials and he has been impressed by the filly.
Under normal circumstances she would be a big winning hope on debut, but today she runs in to a very strong maiden line up.
“She is a really nice filly and I have been happy with her trials, but it is a very strong race.”
“So, she might be more of a place chance.”
Oaxacan Dream clashes with William Wallace, who has his first start since running fifth behind One Change at last season’s Harness Jewels in the event.
May’s skill will be put to the test when he drives three talented, but inconsistent trotters at today’s Fast10 meeting.
The reinsman will drive the Jones and Hill trained Simone De Beauvoir and Michelle for the first time in races 1 and 3, respectively.
Both have the talent to win, but must markedly improve their manners after galloping out of their last starts.
Missie Castleton, who starts in race 5, looks biggest chance of trotting throughout among May’s tricky trio.
“She got it badly wrong last time, but if she trots all the way she can definitely be in it.”
Missie Castleton clashes with highly impressive debut winner The Last Love.
May also drives Mrs Washington (race 2), Mrs Washington (race 7) and Three Ideas (race 10) at Friday’s meeting.