Hot And Treacherous shows promising form
By Michael Guerin
One of the forgotten horses of this year’s IRT New Zealand Cup reminded us just how good he can be at the workouts on the weekend.
And he reminded trainer Brian Hughes too.
Hot And Treacherous had his first public outing of his new campaign when he won a three-horse workout at Pukekohe on Saturday and while he only beat a trotter this was no ordinary trotter and no ordinary workout.
The trotter in question was last-start Rowe Cup winner Bolt For Brilliance and Hot And Treacherous was out for anything but a Saturday stroll.
He settled second of the three starters, the other being smart lower-grade pacer Fernleigh Cash, but driver Maurice McKendry pulled out of the trail and went to the lead with over a lap to go and set Hot And Treacherous a task.
He had the persuader out and let the talented pacer run and they hit the line three lengths clear of the other pair, who weren’t hurried, the 2500m stand taking 3:12.7 but the last 800m in 55.7 seconds and the final 400m in 26.6.
They don’t go much faster at Pukekohe and co-trainer Hughes says that was the idea.
“We wanted him to have a proper hit out to see where he was at and also how he would recover,” he said.
“He actually had a small setback before he went for a spell and that meant he spelled for longer than we wanted.
“We have come back a little behind the eight ball. So he needed a good hitout last weekend and then I wanted to see how he recovered before I decided on whether he will go to the Holmes D G (Alex Park, Oct 7) next.
“He seems to have come through it well so all going well he will start off there.”
That will also be a trial of sorts as how Hot And Treacherous performs in the Holmes D G could determine whether the IRT NZ Cup comes more sharply into focus.
“At the moment we are 50-50 on going because the Cup is such a tough race and even the lead-up races are tough,” explains Hughes.
"So we will know a lot more after next week’s race.”
Trainer-driver Tony Herlihy was delighted with Bolt For Brilliance’s trial as he wasn’t pushed and trotted similar sectionals to the winner, which is very fast for a trotter anywhere but especially around Pukekohe.
“He trotted well too so it was a good starting point for his campaign,” said Herlihy.
“I think after that he won’t need another trial and he can go straight to the races on Friday week where there is a maximum back mark of 30m race which should suit him.”
Bolt For Brilliance could have two runs in the north and possibly head to Kaikoura before Cup week and then Herlihy is hoping on some suitable flights to get him to Victoria for the Inter Dominions which begin on November 26.
“I’d love to get a flight back to Auckland and then a suitable one to Melbourne and if we can do that we are still keen on the series.”