Nairn under no illusion
By Michael Guerin
Paul Nairn has been left under no illusion how tough the new open class trotting season is going to be.
And it isn’t about to get any easier at Addington tomorrow night.
Nairn was more than happy with Habibi Inta’s solid third to a rampant Sundees Son at Addington last Friday night, especially as he went into the race without a trial.
“He had done plenty of work leading into it so he was ready but it is a tough old grade for these horses,” says Nairn.
“So I was happy with how he went but it is going to be a hard grade the open trotters this season.
“You have a lot of those good older horses like Marcoola and the others but also Sundees Son and Majestic Man and the younger ones of Mark’s (Oscar Bonavena and eventually Enhance Your Calm).
“So it could be a really good open class crop.”
Habibi Inta’s chances of turning the tables on Sundees Son tomorrow night have been done no favours by him drawing the inside of the second line in the mobile start Ordeal Cup, which Nairn admits has at least one positive.
“I was happy with how he hit the line last week and again this week he shouldn’t get a hard run so at least he will have not too taxing start to the season.
“But there are only 10 starters in it on Friday night so he should be a run at some stage.”
Safely through the Ordeal Cup, Habibi Inta will head to the Banks Peninsula Cup on the grass on September 29 and head along the Dominion path but Nairn wants to see the former Harness Jewels winner develop a harder edge this season.
“I think he can be a really good horse but he has to keep finding the line all the time.
“He has the ability but sometimes he hasn’t found the line so I hope he starts to do that more regularly. Hopefully that experience in open class last season will help.” While Habibi Inta is up and running for the open class season he won’t be joined any time soon by Nairn’s other open class regular in Ronald J, who has been having soundness issues and been sent for a spell.
“He just wasn’t trotting right so I will put him aside and I don’t think we will see him this side of the Cup carnival.”
Also enjoying a long spell are last season’s NZ Trotting Derby winner Lotamuscle and Jewels placegetter Gil Favor.
“They are both having five months off, to give them the chance to strengthen up before they come back because there isn’t a lot for them as early four-year-olds any way.”
Nairn says an end of season veterinary examination revealed Lotamuscle had been suffering from ulcers.
“That might explain why he was a bit up and down during the season but we don’t know how long he had them.”