Herlihy gets the plum drives
By Michael Guerin
Champion horseman Tony Herlihy will drive the two best horses at Alexandra Park tonight but he knows one a lot better than the other.
New Zealand’s most successful ever reinsman brings his stable star Bolt For Brilliance back to the races in the main trot this evening, a horse he selected from the sales, trains and has driven in all on his eight victories.
But his other key drive tonight is a surprise package in superstar three-year-old Krug, the favourite for the Woodlands Northern Derby in a few weeks but a pacer Herlihy has never sat behind.
“I have seen him in lots of his races, mainly his hind quarters,” he laughs.
Herlihy gets the drive on Krug (R7, No.7) in tonight’s feature pace as regular reinsman Blair Orange is driving at Addington tonight but by being called in as the catch driver Herlihy is in the box seat should Orange miss the Derby drive.
“Obviously he is a very good horse and I saw him at the workouts last weekend and he went very well,” said Herlihy.
“It is tricky for any three-year-old in this grade but on class he can win.” Krug looked our best three-year-old before a long spring caught up with him around Cup time in Christchurch and he looked a tired horse in the Sires’ Stakes Final.
Back to his best he will have too much class for most of his rivals tonight but three-year-olds taking on older horses as lead up races to the Derby can be vulnerable in either code so punters won’t want to be going crazy over very short odds for him.
Bolt For Brilliance will also be short but he has just as much x-factor as Krug and probably more.
It took Sundees Son to beat him in the National Trot last start and while he hasn’t raced for five weeks but he sprinted purposefully at the Pukekohe workouts last week when all but dead heating with his main rival tonight in Temporale.
Bolt For Brilliance (40m) gets a 10m start over Temporale (50m) over 2200m tonight, although Temporale tends to step better so could even sneak tactical advantage.
But the reality is these days Bolt For Brilliance may simply be the better horse and even though 40m is a decent handicap over 2200m there is only one horse off the front and one off 10m so it is not as bad as it looks.
Herlihy brings a beautifully-bred debutante to the last race tonight in Bohemian Rhapsody and while only a three-year-old trotting filly she has trialled like she will win if she trots all the way, which is always a gamble with young trotters at their first start.
Courtesy of the NZ Herald