Homebush Lad rated big chance in Akaroa Cup

By Jonny Turner

Homebush Lad heads back to his happy place to start in the Cabins 2U Akaroa Cup on Saturday.

After taking on outstanding fields on all weather tracks recently, the veteran pacer will be back on grass in the Motukarara feature.

Though he’s been out of the money, Homebush Money hasn’t been disgraced in his recent outings behind Don’t Stop Dreaming, Akuta, and Beach Ball.

The pacer’s sectionals alone look enough to suggest he will be highly competitive when dropping back in class and stepping back onto grass on Saturday.

“He has worked well this week and he loves the grass and the track,” driver Ben Hope said.

“He should go pretty good; you have to respect Franco Indie, who is a very nice horse.”

“But back on the grass and back in grade after racing some red-hot fields, our horse looks well placed to go a pretty handy race.”

Homebush Lad shares the 20m back mark in the Akaroa Cup with the early favourite Franco Indie.

Homebush Lad has won 11 races on grass while Franco Indie failed in his only attempt on turf.

Another leading contender in Lester also brings a proven record on grass to the Akaroa Cup.

Homebush Lad will be joined by his stablemate Blue Rock Dancer, who will start from the front line for driver Mia Holbrough.

Ben Hope will take a backseat when Pure Courage steps out in 2.

Cheree Wigg will take the reins behind the pacer in an amateur drivers' event.

“It is his first start on the grass for me, but his work has been good and hopefully he can keep his good form going,” Hope said.

The Greg and Nina stable start another four runners on Akaroa Cup Day.

Maiden trotter Torvi looks a strong winning hope for the stable.

“She has been going really nice races; she should be a really good chance.”

Love Walked In steps up in grade in race 7 for the Hopes after winning at the same track last week.

“It looks like that race will be a good introduction to the next grade.”

“The draw isn’t ideal, but she looks capable of going another good race.”

The Hope barn also starts Mossdale Margaret and Krystal Delight on Saturday.

Both mares look solid chances, but they may require a little bit of luck from tricky draws.

Earlier this week, Muscle Mountain gained clearance to return to racing after he suffered an atrial fibrillation in the Dominion.

The trotter gave Ben Hope a great feel in his quiet trial at Rangiora on Wednesday.

“We didn’t have to trial him for fitness or anything; he was just there to get his ticket after he fibrillated.”

“We didn’t break any records, but he did everything he had to do, and he felt great.”

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