Muscle Mountain set to go three from four in Trotting Championship

By Michael Guerin

A change of plans for a key rival and a seemingly perfect barrier draw may have combined to hand Saturday’s $110,000 Fred Shaw Memorial NZ Trotting Championships at Addington to Muscle Mountain.

The wonderful trotter will be long odds-on for the 2600m mobile which he has won in two of the last three years after drawing barrier 1. He won in 2021 and 2023 and was second to Sundees Son in 2022.

He has stablemate Midnight Dash alongside at barrier 2 and while there is gate speed outside them from Majestic Man (barrier 4) it could surprise if the hot favourite is not in front or the trail heading out of the Addington straight the first time.

If that is the case he should only have to race up to his comeback form in the Lamb And Hayward Trotters Classic last start to win again and head to the TAB Trot at Cambridge on April 12 looking near his best form.

While his draw may have made Muscle Mountain unbeatable his task at Saturday’s afternoon-twilight meeting was made a lot easier when arch rival Oscar Bonavena didn’t nominate for the race.

He has already moved north to be based at Pukekohe for the remainder of the autumn and will contest the $60,000 Trotters Flying Mile at Cambridge on April 4 as his lead-up to the TAB Trot eight days later.

“We think that is the best way to get him ready,” said co-trainer Mark Purdon.

Saturday’s meeting sees a return to the historic Saturday afternoon slot for the Easter meeting and will feature a decent $40,000 free-for-all headlined by the Team Telfer pair of Alta Meteor and Ohoka Connor and one of the big finds of the pacing season in Beach Ball.

The first of the 11 races goes at 1.52pm and the card will have a full Trackside hosting crew and be shown on Trackside 2.

To see Saturday's fields click here


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