Heza Sport hard to beat at Timaru
By Jonny Turner
An excellent New Zealand Cup Day performance has Heza Sport on track to be one of the horses to beat in the Timaru Cup on Saturday.
The Colin and Julie DeFilippi trained pacer comes into the 2600m handicap following a strong second on New Zealand Cup Day behind It’s All About Faith.
Heza Sport was the only horse to make a mid-race move in the 1980m event and kicked on strongly to run second, a length and three-quarters away from the impressive winner.
“I was really happy with his run, he did a bit of work and he kept going,” Colin DeFilippi said.
“It took a pretty good horse to beat us, put it that way.”
Heza Sport looks more suited to Saturday’s standing start conditions than the mobile sprint assignment he faced last week.
The generally reliable beginner starts from the 20m mark.
That handicap almost guarantees Heza Sport will need to make a mid-race move again on Saturday, something his trainer-driver thinks is well within his range.
“It is a tough mark for a horse of his experience, he is going to have to get handy at some stage.”
“But he can do a bit of work, he has got a bit of bottom to him.”
Heza Sport’s main rival was also impressive on New Zealand Cup Day.
No Time Like Now exploded away from his opposition in a brilliant effort to close out New Zealand’s biggest day of harness racing, winning by more than eight lengths.
After producing his big victory from behind the mobile, the Graham Court trained pacer returns to standing start racing and starts alongside Heza Sport on the 20m mark in Saturday’s feature.
No Time Like Now missed away in his last standing start at Methven but was quick to regain his gait.
Colin and Julie DeFilippi take one more of their team to Timaru on Saturday in first-starter Let’s Go Ringo.
The three-year-old brings solid trial form to his debut but must overcome barrier 13 in his 2000m standing start assignment in race 3.
“He has gone pretty good at the trials, he probably should be going to the trials again but it's too dear to keep going there.”
“He is a handy horse, he is a trier is how I would describe him.”
“It is just a shame he has drawn where he has (13) over the mile and a quarter.”
Colin DeFilippi takes three outside drives at Saturday’s meeting with the Ben Waldron trained Franco Josiah looking the best winning chance among them.
The six-year-old must bring his manners to race 6 after breaking in his last three starts.
“I have watched all of his replays and when he trots he has gone good.”
“If he brings his manners he shouldn’t be a bad chance.”
DeFilippi also drives Stamp Duty in race 5 and Tasman Tempest in race 7.