Ferguson heads to Addington after Wyndham double
By Jonny Turner
Craig Ferguson warmed up for his Group 1 tilt at Addington on Friday night by turning heads at Wyndham on Thursday.
The trainer-driver produced Rustenburg for a brilliant maiden win in the stunning time of 2-54.4 for 2400m to win the Lazarus Standing at Nevele R Stud Mobile Pace.
The three-year-old was beaten by a classy type in Dreams Are Free on debut at Winton.
But Ferguson had a plan to avenge that defeat on Thursday.
“We're pretty pleased with that, he sat back last start and he got out sprinted so we didn't want to take that chance today.”
“They ran along and he stuck to the task, it was really good.”
Rustenburg races in the colours of former New Zealand football coach Ricki Herbert, who races the three-year-old with Braedon Makgill and Liam Dixon.
The horse isn’t the first winner for Ferguson and Herbert who have struck up a good combination as owner and trainer.
“It's a whole crew of them from up north there and Ricky's involved in that,” Ferguson said.
“He's mad keen on the horses and he's always messaging to see how they're going and he'll be thrilled with that run.”
Ferguson also produced Huki Fella to win on his home track on Thursday.
The pacer is pint-sized by standardbred standards, much like his sire Lord Forbes.
But he doesn’t lack determination – when his mind is on the job that is.
“He's got small man syndrome I think, he thinks he's big, he gets out there and he doesn't always try that hard, he's a bit green but at the finish line he tries, which is when you want it.”
Ferguson’s attention turns to Addington on Friday night where Wag Star will start in the Airpark Canterbury Group 1 Flying Stakes.
The pacer was an emphatic winner of a warm up event at Addington last week and Ferguson has been happy with his progress since.
“He's come through the run really good.”
“We would have liked a bit of a better draw and it's a really, really hot field, so he's going to need a few favours.”
“But as far as the horse, I'm happy with him going into it.”
Mark Hurrell takes the reins behind Wag Star on Friday night.