Hot And Treacherous seeking Cup berth

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Hot And Treacherous has slipped three spots in the Group 1 IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup (3200m) rankings to sit in 16th position, one place outside of a guaranteed spot in the time-honoured race.

He will have one last-ditch effort of making the cut when he lines-up at Cambridge Raceway on Friday in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Handicap Pace (2700m).

He cost himself last start when making an early error, but trainers Brian and Gareth Hughes have put a line through that run and are confident he will bring his customary good manners on Friday.

While the father-and-son duo hold no concerns about the stand, the Captaintreacherous gelding still has a mountain of work ahead of him from behind the 50m tape, however, he is in good company, with last year’s New Zealand Cup hero Copy That a further 20m in arrears.

“Over 2700m it (50m handicap) is a tough task, but that is where he is handicapped, and we can’t do much about that,” Gareth Hughes said.

“Hopefully he gets away a bit better than he did last week. I think he was just on the tapes last week and gave himself a little bit of a fright. He is normally pretty good, so hopefully he is back to his usual ways from the stand this week.”

Hughes said a southern campaign, whatever form that takes, is entirely reliant on Hot And Treacherous’ performance on Friday.

“It all depends on how he goes on Friday. We will just get through the race and go from there,” he said.

The Ardmore barn has a couple of other leading contenders on the nine-race Cambridge Raceway card.

Promising filly Whispering Artist will contest the IRT Mobile Pace (2200m), while last start runner-up The Beaudster will attempt to go one better in the Cambridge Homes Mobile Pace (2200m).

“Whispering Artist’s run (for sixth) was super last start. She got shuffled back and ran home well on a quick last half,” Hughes said.

“In her second start it was a big jump in company, and she went really well, it was just unfortunate where she got back to in the race. I was really happy with the result.

“The Beaudster went really well last start, it was a big improvement from his first start.

“He just got nabbed on the line, so he should go another good race again.”

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