Hackett rates her chances at Hawera
by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
Teal Pants ambassador Crystal Hackett looks a driver to follow on the second day of the Hawera meeting today.
The talented junior driver's good book of drives includes $3.80 favourite Nelson's Boy in the day's feature, the South Taranaki Club Hawera Cup Handicap Pace at 3.34pm.
Nelson's Boy was a hard luck story on Friday, galloping just as he looked like he was going to take out the Colin Jones Memorial Stratford Trotting Cup. He still managed third behind Hesashorething and Franco Hoffman.
"He just rolled out of his gait as he can do sometimes," says Crystal Hackett, "so we've done a gear change and shortened up his hopples."
Drawn the front line over 2100 metres Nelson's Boy (2) has a key advantage over higher-rated rivals like Mimi E Coco (30m) and Franco Hoffman (20m).
"The fence is a good place to be at Hawera, and if he steps away well I'd expect a bold showing."
Hackett is also buoyant about the chances of first day winner Sly Terror ($3.20). It was his first win in 24 starts after consistently good form at Auckland and Hackett says there's no reason why he can't go back to back.
"He's drawn one and has gate speed so I'll be trying to make use of the draw," says Hackett.
"He was overdue a win."
Other chances on the day include The Lawman, who like Nelson's Boy and Sly Terror, is trained by her parents Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett at Waiuku. She'll start in Race 1, the BJ Towers Plumbing Handicap Trot (12.25pm). She's won two of her last three starts and opened a $4.50 favourite with the TAB.
"She's a nice horse but she starts off 45 (metres) which won't be easy," says Hackett, "and she's only a wee horse but she should handle the grass."
Hackett also takes the reins behind Artful Living in Race 5, the Tommo's Tyres Revell Douglas Series Heat 3 Mobile Pace (2.05pm).
Trained by David Jones at Stratford, he finished on well for fourth on the first day.
"I was happy with him, he is a good staying type."
Artful Living is at a $3.80 quote, the second favourite behind Katies Princess.
Hackett will also drive Jack Irish ($26) in Race 3, the Reardon Transport/Metcalfe Real Estate Mobile Pace.
With her win with Sly Terror on Friday Hackett opened her account for the Teal Pants campaign. From February to the middle of March every time a female driver, wearing the teal pants, wins a race money is raised towards ovarian cancer research.
"I love Team Teal," says Hackett, "it's a cause that's close to home."
Hackett and her family are "mates" with Teal Pants founder Duncan McPherson. He is also the principal of Aldebaran Park, Hackett's main sponsor.
It's her second year as a Team Teal Ambassador. She's one of five along with Sam Ottley, Gemma Thornley, Kirstin Green and Alicia Harrison.
So far the amount of money raised in just a few days has topped $1700, with the prospect of much more to come.