Heavyweight Hero right to go left
By Jonny Turner
Talented trotter Heavyweight Hero will do a U-turn to resume his stop-start career in the Trotter’s Green Mile at Methven on Sunday.
Switching directions has been the motivator for the 6yr-old’s part owner and former trainer, Todd McFarlane, sending the horse to Bob Butt’s Woodend Beach stable.
Heavyweight Hero’s problem hooves have been the difference between the trotter showing flashes of brilliance, rather than consistently good form, during his off and on 20 start career.
The Muscle Mass trotter’s move south to Butt’s stable has been a case of McFarlane coming up with a cunning plan to work around Heavyweight Hero’s troublesome toes.
“Todd had brought him back up at home and had him going pretty good,” Butt said.
“But, he has still had a lot of trouble with his feet and he was finding that he was trotting much better left handed than right handed because of it.”
“So, he gave me a call out of the blue, to see if I he could send him to me and get some left handed racing in to him.”
Heavyweight Hero arrived at Woodend Beach only a matter of days ahead of Sunday’s feature 1609m trot.
In that short time, he has impressed his new trainer.
“I really like him, he feels like a really nice trotter.”
“I definitely think he will win races down here and do a good job.”
“Todd said he could have a trial once he got down here, but I saw this race coming up and I thought it could suit him - with a lot of the good trotters away up north.”
Heavyweight Hero showed off his trotting talent at the Pukekohe trials before heading south.
He impressed when beat rising star Tickle Me Pink in a 2500m trial.
That form was franked when the runner-up went a big race when resuming at Alexandra Park off a huge 40m handicap.
The trial and his work since arriving gives Butt hope Heavyweight Hero be highly competitive in a field largely made up of race hardened trotters.
“His trial up north was pretty good and Todd has done a lot of work with him, so he should be pretty competitive on Sunday,” Butt said.
“I took him to work on the grass on Monday and he was really good, so that shouldn’t be a problem, either.”
Defending Trotters’ Green Mile champion, Amaretto Sun, is amongst Sunday’s line up.
The Ken Ford trained squaregaiter goes in to this year’s edition in similar circumstances to last year.
Amaretto Sun disappointed during last year’s New Zealand Cup Carnival, before bursting back in to life in the Methven feature.
The Ford stable will be hoping he can do the same this year.
Other race contenders will attempt to continue their strong New Zealand Cup week form on Sunday.
They include Ruthless Kayla, Globe Trekker and Overzealous.
A G’s White Socks being away for his brilliant Interdominion campaign means he will not be able to win his third consecutive Pacers’ Green Mile at Methven on Sunday.
Trainers Greg and Nina Hope have four runners in the 1609m feature that could see them secure a hat-trick of training wins in the race.
Their team is made up of Vinnie Rulz, Three Ideas, Homebush Lad and Kendra.