May hopeful Pat's Delight can bounce back
NZ HARNESS NEWS
Driver Ricky May is hopeful Pat’s Delight can bounce back from a plain performance on Tuesday to win Friday’s New Zealand Free-For-All.
The Cran Dalgety-trained pacer was New Zealand’s talk horse after his stunning second to Spankem in the Kaikoura Cup.
That prompted $1million-plus offers from buyers, which were turned down by his Gore owner, Pat Kubala.
Pat’s Delight looked far from a million-dollar pacer when he only sprinted fairly out of the one-one to run third to All U Need Is Faith in the Junior Free-For-All on New Zealand Cup day.
Dalgety and driver Ricky May have had a good debrief on the performance and they are willing to put it down to the running of the event.
“I think he is up to this level, on his run at Kaikoura he surely is and I am sure he can follow speed really well,” May said.
“It was a pretty tricky race that free-for-all and it probably just wasn’t run to suit,” May said.
"He felt great in the running and then he just didn't let down."
“I talked to Cran for quite a bit about it.”
Pat’s Delight, Turn It Up and Spankem make up a seriously dangerous three-pronged four-year-old attack on Friday’s 1980m feature.
The trio will be out to emulate the brilliant win then four-year-old Ultimate Machete produced to beat Tiger Tara in the race last year.
Turn It Up will complete the most remarkable rise to the top of New Zealand’s pacing ranks with victory in Friday’s New Zealand Free-For-All.
The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained four-year-old will step in to rare territory when competing in one of the country’s premier group 1 events in just his seventh start.
Turn It Up should get every opportunity to complete the exceptional feat after drawing barrier two.
The horse displayed good gate speed when crushing his rivals in a middle-grade race on New Zealand Cup day.
Pat’s Delight is drawn in barrier three and he has Jack’s Legend inside him in barrier one.
May is well aware that though he has a brilliant draw on paper, making the lead or just staying handy to the pace will be tricky.
“You have got to remember that the ones drawn inside us have got stacks of gatespeed too.
“I just really hope he can stay handy to give him his best chance, but it wont be easy.”
Pat’s Delight and Turn It Up are likely to settle well in front of Tiger Tara early in the race.
The Australian raider has copped the second tricky draw in a week after landing barrier nine in Friday’s $200,000 feature.
Tiger Tara’s draw was arguably his undoing in his epic effort for second behind Thefixer in Tuesday’s New Zealand Cup.
The Kevin Pizzuto-trained stallion got back to fourth-last after the start of the 3200m event from barrier 12.
Tiger Tara looks set to have to made the same kind of mid-race move and extra work he did when only going down narrowly on Tuesday.
Ricky May was forced to make a tough call to drive Pat’s Delight over A G’s White Socks.
Though Pat’s Delight clearly looks the better chance, loyalty made the decision tough.
“The draw came in to it, they have been great owners the A G’s White Socks team,” May said.
“I probably shouldn’t have dropped him, but at the end of the day in that field Pat’s Delight is the better drive.”
Matthew Williamson will sub in for May on A G’s Whitesocks.
The horse’s prospects in the Friday’s race plummeted when he landed barrier eight.
Turn It Up will be joined by three of his All Stars stablemates in the race.
Spankem and Cruz Bromac look good chances and will start from barriers four and six, respectively.
Eamon Maguire starts from barrier seven for Purdon and Rasmussen.