Northerners to press on despite disappointment
By Michael Guerin
Even the northerners who didn’t shine at Ashburton on Monday are still all go for Cup week at Addington.
While Copy That and American Dealer flew the northern flag with pride, there was a couple of speed bumps for established northern stars Temporale and Mach Shard, who were both unplaced.
But Temporale is still on target for Cup week even after a disappointing Flying Mile.
The former Rowe Cup winner raced well below his best when sixth on Monday even though that was still good enough for a 1:55.7 time.
The best version of Temporale, the one who pushed Bolt For Brilliance close three starts ago, would have stayed a lot closer to winner Majestic Man after sitting on his back in the trail.
But Temporale struggled on the bends, particularly the last one when he lost Majestic Man’s back and then one-batted in the straight.
“We were disappointed in him,” admitted co-trainer Michelle Wallis.
“He wasn’t happy on the bends and really he should be better than that as he has done so much racing left-handed now and was good in Australia.
“So we took a blood off him and will add a pole for his next start.”
Wallis will resist the temptation to take Temporale, who is staying with David and Catherine Butt, to the Cup trials at Addington next week.
“It is straight into the Free-For-All and then at this stage on to the Dominion.”
Another horse who didn’t race up to his best on Monday was Mach Shard, who finished second last in the Flying Stakes.
“I would have liked to see him hold the back of Spankem,” said co-trainer Barry Purdon.
“So I was disappointed in the run but he isn’t the first horse I have had go to Ashburton and go like that,” says Purdon.
“It can shock some of them because those leaders never come back to them so I am willing to forgive him.
“So he will go to the Cup trial now and on to the Cup.” Purdon and training partner Scott Phelan will bring On The Cards and Bad To The Bone to Kaikoura on Monday, with On The Cards also likely heading to the Cup although as this stage he sits one spot outside the final 15 guaranteed a start.