Herlihy cautious about Double Delight at Alexandra Park tonight
By Michael Guerin
Tony Herlihy has been in a very forgiving mood this week but things are about to get more serious.
The champion horseman was willing to forgive his stable star Bolt For Brilliance after he could manage only fifth at Kaikoura on Monday although it will mean he goes to the races on Cup Day rather than enjoying paddock life.
“I think he was a run short and blew out,” says Herlihy.
“He was very lackadaisical early in the race and while he made ground later I think his condition blew out the last 100m.
“With only having had one run up home before he came down I think he might need another one so I am going to start him in the 2000m stand on Cup Day to help sharpen him up for the Dominion.”
Herlihy is also willing to be forgiving in advance for anything the star attraction at Alexandra Park in Double Delight does on Friday night.
She is still only officially three but finds herself up against some open class rivals again in the main trot at tonight’s meeting.
“It is tough taking on those older horses, even if she is pretty good,” says Herlihy.
“She was a good second last start against a similar field and I am not saying she can’t win it won’t be easy.”
That is a word of warning for punters who may want to take what could be short odds on the former Jewels winner even though the handicaps suggest she is in the right race off the front.
“These races are to get her fit for the major ones down here so as long as she trots well and hits the line well we will be happy enough.”
Tony Cameron will do the driving behind Double Delight as Herlihy remains in the south to prepare the Cup week team.
It may be a former Herlihy-trained trotter in I See Fire who is the main danger again after beating most of these last start, although he meets Double Delight a whopping 25m worse off this week.
While the main trot has some quality and intrigue the feature pace tonight has been shorn of some of its best and brightest with Hey Bartender and Montana D J among the scratchings.
That could pave the way for one of the big improvers of the northern spring in Nicholas Cage to win again.
He has been able to reel off fast sectionals on cold nights and will take enormous catching if he can lead from barrier four.