Ferguson-Hurrell combo one to watch at Winton

by Jonny Turner

After smashing the clock at Wyndham, stepping up in grade looks an easy step for Rustenburg at Winton on Thursday.

The Craig Ferguson trained three-year-old starts over the same trip after his outstanding 2-54.4 last start victory over 2400m.

Mark Hurrell jumps in the sulky behind Rustenburg for the first time and he thinks the three-year-old has the class to handle taking on more rugged performers.

“He is a pretty decent horse, hopefully he should be winning that,” Hurrell said.

“He can get a little bit rough out of the gate, we might just have to take our time.”

“But he is a pretty classy animal, so hopefully that race is there for the taking.”

The Ferguson trained Nutcracker comes into race 8 after unlucky runs in her last two starts.

The mare had more to offer in last weekend’s Tuapeka Cup but she never saw daylight.

Hurrell hopes that she won’t be hemmed away when taking on just six rivals on Thursday.

“She is on the quick back up, it is only four days but she has come through her last run really well,” Hurrell said.

“She obviously hasn’t got much of a crack at them lately, but hopefully in a seven-horse field she won’t be too unlucky.”

Nutcracker is usually driven with one run, and though anything is possible when the mobile leaves, tactics are likely to stay the same.

“There are a couple of horse in there that like to go forward,” Hurrell said.

“We will probably just have to time our run.”

“Hopefully we can tuck away and rip home.”

Louie’s Girl debuts for the Ferguson barn in race 7 after tidy efforts in her recent workouts.

Hurrell doesn’t see why the filly can’t be highly competitive in her stable debut.

“She has gone well in her workouts for us, she has gone back off the gate and ripped home.”

“We will probably drive her the same and she should be hitting the line hard.”

“It is a bit of a tricky draw – six over a mile – but she has been going pretty good at the workouts so I don’t see why she couldn’t be winning that.”

Hurrell also combines with American Mac who comes into race 10 following a handy 4th on Tuapeka Cup Day.

“It looks a pretty even race, he was pretty good last start.”

“The horses that beat him home would probably be winning this race, as well.”

“I am happy with way he is going, if he gets the right run he would be a good eachway chance.”

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