Lemond having “last hurrah”

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Injury-plagued trotter Lemond is back in Cambridge and having his “last hurrah” at being a racehorse.

The Group One winning gelding was sent to Paul Nairn’s Canterbury stable in May but the man behind such trotting stars as Stig and Call Me Now couldn’t get him back to anywhere near his best.

“He wasn’t right, he was sore in several places, and he was not a happy horse,” says Nairn.

Nairn made the decision to send him home saying he’d done all he could.

“If he’d been a younger trotter we could have tried a few things..”

Now co-owner Charlie Hunter ONZM says time is running out, with Lemond having a history of leg injuries including a fractured tibia.

“This is his last hurrah,” says Hunter, “we will see how he goes over the next few weeks and make a decision.”.

Lemond is back with original trainer Ross Paynter, who also bred the now eight-year-old Love You – Cipollini gelding.

Lemond hasn’t raced since November last year, with his last win being at Auckland last April. Overall he has won 15 from 56 with his greatest triumph being the 2018 ANZAC Cup.

Nairn’s patience has also been tested with another trotting star in reigning Dominion Handicap champion Habibi Inta.

Also by Love You, the-seven-year-old hasn’t been seen on the racetrack this year as he too battles leg injuries

“It’s lower suspensory problems with his front legs,” says Nairn.

The winner of 11 races and nearly $400,000 Habibi Inta has had a “good grounding” with lots of jogging and is due to start fast work next month.

An up-coming scan will provide some insight into where they are with him with plans to race him next at Ashburton and then Kaikoura though Nairn says he’s more “hopeful than confident” about defending the Dominion Handicap in November.


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