Grass track Cups king does it again
By Jonny Turner
The grass track cups king reigned supreme in yesterday's Waikouaiti Cup.
Homebush Lad added to his incredible record on turf when powering home from off the speed to win the 3000m feature for trainers Greg and Nina Hope and driver Ben Hope.
Homebush Lad's Waikouaiti Cup win sits alongside his Westport, Geraldine, Waimate, and Motukarara Christmas Cup wins, plus his three Reefton Cup victories on his glittering grass track resume.
Ben Hope thinks the pacer has earnt the title of being the South Island's country cups king with his big collection of silverware.
"He is the cups king, really," Hope said.
"He loves the grass and he loves the longer distances; it was great to get another cup win with him."
Homebush Lad is a chance of bagging yet another grass track cup if he starts in tomorrow's Amberley Cup.
The Hope camp will monitor how the pacer comes through his Waikouaiti Cup run and the rigours of his return trip to Oamaru before making a decision on the race.
"We will just see how he comes through it, the handicaps are a bit different," Hope said.
"We were only off 10m at Oamaru, but we are off 20m at Amberley and we could go back further with the win today."
Homebush Lad is the leader in the New Zealand Country Championship, which culminates in the $110,000 Country Championship Final at Addington in May.
While happy to have be almost certain of a start in the feature event, Hope would love to see a final run on grass.
"A lot of the horses come through grass track races to get into the final, and it would be good if there was a final on the grass."
"I understand why it is run at Addington and that they want the best field."
"But it would be good if there was a consolation type race run on the grass."
Just one race prior, Maui continued his outstanding summer form with his front-running victory yesterday in the Waikouaiti Trotters Cup for trainer-driver David McCormick.
The squaregaiter had missed out in two previous outings on the Oamaru grass track, but yesterday Maui barely looked in doubt after making a flying beginning to take the lead just a matter of meters into the 3000m feature.
McCormick controlled the pace before letting Maui reel off a sharp closing 400m split to win.
The victory came just 11 days after Maui ran to victory on the Oamaru all-weather track.