Improving Arden Messi scores at Addington

By Jonny Turner

 Arden Messi kicked the first of what could be many winning goals when breaking his maiden at Addington on Friday night.

The 3yr-old took his first step towards trying to emulate some of the impressive deeds of his New Zealand Cup winning full brother Arden Rooney when pouncing on the leaders to win race 2.

They might have identical pedigrees, but there are some striking differences between Arden Messi and his big race winning brother, according to trainer Grant Payne.

“Arden Rooney was up and running as a 2yr-old, but we ended up turning him out because he was getting on a knee.”

“Arden Messi has taken a lot longer, he couldn’t even really pace when I first got him.”

“But, he has just got better and better.”

“He is a real nice horse, I like him.”

Arden Messi’s continued improvement helped him progress from his solid fourth on debut, three weeks ago, to score on Friday night.

The Bettor’s Delight pacer looked green when he was off the bit and going backward on the home turn before rallying in the straight in his first up effort.

Thankfully for Payne, the pacer is rapidly improving his race smarts as well as developing his motor.

“He is very green, but he is getting better.”

“He just seems to improve every time I take him off the place.”

Arden Messi’s West Otago breeder-owner John Stiven will soon get the chance to see his pacer close to home.

An Ascot Park start is on the cards for the son of Walton Hanover mare, Tosca Hanover.

“We will keep going with him through the winter,” Payne said.

“John is quite keen to give him a race or two down south, so we will look at that.”

Arden Messi is the first full sibling to Arden Rooney that Tosca Hanover has produced since she foaled the New Zealand Cup winner in 2009.

Stiven has a 2yr-old full sister and a weanling full brother to Arden Rooney and Arden Messi.

Tosca Hanover was served by superstar racehorse turned sire, Betting Line, last spring.

Manners were the key to Eurokash taking out the highly anticipated clash of 2yr-old trotters at Addington on Friday night.

The Greg and Nina Hope trained squaregaiter and his stablemate Franco Jorik were the only two horses not to make a mistake when filling the quinella in race 6.

Eurokash was driven by national junior driver’s premiership hopeful Ben Hope, who also took out race 4 with Midnight Dash.

Hope’s double took him to 27 wins for the season, two behind premiership co-leaders John Morrison and Sheree Tomlinson.

Hope’s double also saw him move from $2.80 to $2.20 in the premiership market opened by the TAB on Friday.

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