Michael Guerin previews tonights racing

By Michael Guerin

A lifetime of experience rather than any medical evidence suggests Lotamuscle can bounce back at Alexandra Park tonight.

 But whether he bounces back far enough to beat Tickle Me Pink in the $25,000 Northern Trotting Guineas is the question for punters.

 The little trotter with the big sprint let his backers down in the Northern Derby last Friday, not running past a rival in the straight after sitting in the one-one, finishing an underwhelming fourth.

That was a far cry from his booming win in the NZ Trot Derby last month and even his second, coming from well back, in the Sires’ Stakes Trot two weeks ago.

 Many trainers would have called the nearest equine vet to have blood test performed on Lotamuscle after such a lack lustre performance, searching for a reason. Not Nairn.

 “I think it was just a bad night at the office for him,” he offers.

 “I don’t get a lot of blood tests done, maybe I should because I know a lot of trainers would.

 “But I find that when there is something wrong enough for a bad blood report you can tell. And this week he has been energetic and normal in his work.

 “So I think he will go a lot better this week.”

 Nairn has Lotamuscle and Gil Favor in the Guineas, a new race on the calendar, and as talented as they both are they will need to be good to beat Tickle Me Pink.

 Tony Herlihy produced one of the training performances of the season to win the Sires’ Stakes Final with Tickle Me Pink in her first start in nine months and then allowed her to miss last Friday’s Derby.

 She has natural high speed and just as importantly is drawn inside the Nairn pair tonight so gets the chance to dictate to them. She could even lead and would be extremely hard to beat.

 “That first up run didn’t seem to harm her at all and she has worked well since,” says Herlihy, who also has Fortunato in the Guineas.

 Herlihy though will be at Addington where he has two chances in the Sales Series Trot and says he can’t split Cheeky Babe and Bolt For Brilliance as they both take on the raw talent of Ultimate Stride and One Majic Kenny.

 The highlight of the harness weekend though is the Addington clash of three Oaks winners, Princess Tiffany (NSW), Best Western (Northern) and Belle Of Montana (Victoria) in the Nevele R Fillies Final.

 All three have drawn the second line so luck will come into play and it will be of huge interest to see whether the All Stars stick to their usual rule for horses drawn one on the second line with Princess Tiffany.

 They have been long-term believers in pushing through with horses drawn one on the second and trying their luck rather than pulling back and going around their rivals, the latter tactic costs you too much ground.

 Princess Tiffany follows out a potential leader in Wainui Creek and if she stayed in front and gave Princess Tiffany the trail this race might be over. So what does Wainui Creek’s driver Ricky May think?

“I can’t really worry about Princess Tiffany but she (Wainui Creek) hasn’t quite been good enough in front lately so I will be dictated by what Richard (Aubrey, trainer) says,” says May.

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