Fiery Bandito gets the rewards at Addington

By Jonny Turner

Fiery Bandito announced himself as one of the rising stars of New Zealand trotting with his big win in the Garrards Racing Rewards Handicap Trot at Addington on Friday night.

The five-year-old overcame a 20m handicap and negotiated his way through a capacity field to continue his outstanding summer and autumn form for trainer-driver Kirstin Green.

The big striding trotter came into his Addington assignment after combining his big motor with faultless manners in a hat-trick of Southland wins.

Friday night’s race was the toughest test of the horse’s manners and tractability, given he had never raced under lights or had to make his way through such a big field before.

Green went into the race with full faith in her horse’s ability, but weary Fiery Bandito is far from the finished product.

What the trotter went on to produce in his big win left the trainer-driver absolutely delighted.

“I am absolutely rapt,” Green said.

“I have always had faith in his ability but his gait is not quite there yet.”

“But for him to do everything right and to win with a bit in the tank was awesome.”

On his last trip to Addington, the faultless Fiery Bandito who was too powerful for his rivals on Friday night wasn’t able to be seen.

The trotter broke and took no part in his last outing in Canterbury on Show Day.

Though he didn’t produce ideal results, Fiery Bandito’s two New Zealand Cup Week starts have proved crucial to his development.

“His trip to Cup Week was a turning point for him,” Green said

“He basically freaked out on the whole trip but since he has been home he has been at lot calmer.”

“That big trip away has been the making of him.”

“He has galloped a few times since then, but each time he has had a genuine excuse.”

“He got knocked over at Omakau and Riverton and then he has won four of his next five starts.”

The patient approach Green has taken to get the best out of Fiery Bandito won’t stop now.

Though the horse is at the top of his game, the trainer-driver won’t be tempted to line him up at Southland’s upcoming feature meetings or to step him out at Addington again anytime soon.

“I am really looking forward to getting him back out into the paddock.”

“His gait is still not quite 100% yet, hopefully with a bit more time he will be able to strengthen up in behind.”

April is shaping up as a big month for Green.

The reinswoman will compete in the Dorothy Cutts Invitational Drivers Race at Cambridge’s big night of harness racing next week.

Green will also have runners at the feature meeting at Winton next Saturday and at Diamonds Day later this month.

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