Hoffman team full of chances
By Jonny Turner
Waikouaiti trainer Amber Hoffman heads to Ascot Park on Thursday with a big team packed full of winning chances.
Hoffman travels south with an eight horse team that bring excellent to the five races they compete in.
Shards Fury is one them and he looks Hoffman’s best chance of the day.
The 5yr-old resumed from a break of more than 18 months away from racing with good third at Addington and hard fought runner-up effort at Oamaru on Kurow Cup day.
The comeback pacer looks a big chance of rewarding his owner’s patience and improving on his recent placing despite drawing the second row in race 6.
“His work this week has been really, really good,” Hoffman said.
“He has gone two great races and I am expecting him to be hard to beat.”
Shard’s Fury clashes with Big Bay, who broke in his debut at Winton last week.
“He worked OK this week, we have made gear adjustments, he is not the worst but is still very green.”
Jonique has produced three good placings in her three career starts and looks a big chance of doing it again for Hoffman from barrier 7 in race 2.
“If she gets a nice drag in to it from the wide draw she can definitely run in the top three again,” the trainer said.
To Ri Caitlin has produced consistent form since joining Hoffman’s barn and looks to take on an easier field in race 4 than the one she ran second in in her last start at Addington.
“Her last two races have gone really well when she has been on the fence, from that draw it will be interesting because she has gone bad from wide draws in the past.”
“But she has worked really well this week, so I am hoping she can do better.”
Though they must take on a New Zealand record holder, Brightest Moment and Ultimate Sassenach look two strong eachway chances for Hoffman in race 10.
Ultimate Sassenach, who starts from barrier 7, has produced two good fourth placings this time in and was unlucky when held up late in the last of them.
“She has drawn bad, it would ideal to get a nice run in to it and be handy in the running line,” Hoffman said.
“She is a capable mare and she is not far away from a win.”
Brightest Moment, who has barrier 2, impressed when winning at Ascot Park over a month ago when dashing around the field in the middle stages.
“She has had a few niggly, wee annoying things go wrong since her last start, that is why she hasn’t lined up since she won.”
“I am thinking she might be better on the bigger track at Winton now she is out of maidens.”
Hoffman’s pair take on Ariella, who broke the 2200m national record for 2yr-old fillies in her last start in group 3 company at Ascot Park in March.
The Waikouaiti trainer will start two sound eachway chances in race 9, Thursday’s feature handicap trot.
In Sequence has the advantage of starting off the front line in her second effort for her new trainer after winning first up in Hoffman’s colours a fortnight ago.
Though today’s race looks much harder, Hoffman expects another strong effort.
“I really like this wee mare, she a nice wee trotter.”
“Over 2700m she wouldn’t want to be leading or doing too much work or anything, but with the right run she should go a nice race.”
Kiwi Crusher was second behind In Sequence in her last start win.
The 7yr-old gets the small advantage of meeting her stablemate 5m better off than in their last clash when she starts from the 15m mark today.
“She is a very honest mare and she has done a great job, she just needs a bit of a run in to it and she will be finishing over the top.”
“2700m will definitely suit her.”