Marcoola to miss Methven

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Fans of Dominion Handicap winner Marcoola will have to wait a little longer to see him back on the track. But not too long.

The emphatic winner of one of New Zealand’s greatest trotting events was listed in the nominations for Sunday’s Trotters’ Green Mile at Methven, but pseudo trainer and regular driver Clint Ford said he is almost certain to miss the sprinting event.

“I think we’ll bypass it and focus on Auckland instead,” Ford said.

“He’s gone so well this time around with having his races well spaced out and when something is working liking that you are always really hesitant to change it.”

That means instead of packing the horse up and heading inland for just on an hour on Sunday, Ford will probably spend the day packing to hit the road for Auckland instead with the trip north likely to happen at some stage next week.

Almost two weeks after his brilliant victory in the Dominion Handicap, Ford said the horse had come through the run very well and there was still a real buzz around the stable of his father, Ken Ford about the victory.

“I don’t think I’ve quite come down from it all yet - it might be a while before it happens, too.

“The video has taken a bit of a bashing, that’s for sure.

“He’s come through it really well, he bounced back good and I’ve been pretty happy with him since.”

While Auckland is the target, Ford confirmed that at this stage the intention was to only race Marcoola on two occasions - starting with the Gr. 2 $50,000 Lyell Creek Stakes on December 14 and then in the Gr. 1 $100,000 National Trot on New Year’s Eve, missing the Trotters’ Flying Mile at Cambridge on Christmas Eve.

“I think that will be a good enough space in between the two runs for him, so we can have him nice and fresh for the big one on New Years’ Eve.”

Marcoola is likely to be accompanied north by stablemate and former Dominion Handicap winner Amaretto Sun, who at this stage remains in the nominations for Sunday’s grass track feature at Methven.

He was a brave third in horrible conditions at Orari on Saturday.

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