Mitchell unsure what to expect
By Michael Guerin
Trainer Todd Mitchell is going to Cambridge tonight hopeful rather than confident with what might be the best horse at the meeting.
Cambridge host one of their biggest meetings of the season tonight, with the Dunstan-sponsored night attracting around 2000 guests for the club’s big pre-Christmas meeting before their mega Christmas Eve clash next week of Sundees Son, Bolt For Brilliance and Majestic Man in the Flying Mile Trot.
Add to that the fact Self Assured could headline the club’s January 8 meeting in the Pacer’s Flying Mile and there are some exciting times ahead for the club.
Tempering his excitement is local trainer Mitchell who isn’t sure what to make of his stable pacing star Lady Cherokee in tonight’s main pace.
The best of Lady Cherokee is well above Cambridge Thursday night class, she won her first three starts before finishing seventh in Best Western Northern Oaks win at Alexandra Park in 2019.
After a huge break away from the track she returned in September this year with the sort of mid-grade win that suggested she might be in the Queen Of Hearts last week rather than on her home track tonight.
But her subsequent two starts have both been well below her best and left Mitchell scratching his head.
“I couldn’t work out what was wrong with her and the vets have been right over here,” he told HRNZ.
“So I have totally changed her work programme. She now does a lot of 3200m slow work and I took her to the workouts last weekend and she was okay. She also recovered better than she has been.
“But I really don’t know what to expect this week. I know she would probably win at her best but I am hopeful.”
Mitchell says the daughter of Sir Lincoln will need some degree of luck as she will probably settle midfield, with some gate speed drawn down low.
“She can win but I couldn’t be tipping her.”
The Mike Berger-trained pair of Eagle Watch and About Turn look the pair for Lady Cherokee to beat if she is going to return to anything like her best.
Berger also looks to have one of the best placed horses of the night in All Yours who drops a long way back in grade in the last of the eight races, gets barrier two and an in-form Zac Butcher so looks one of the bets of the night.