No Crown trip for Cullenburn


Cullenburn’s Australasian Breeders Crown trip is off the table.

Trainer Brendon Hill and owner Ian Dobson have decided against tackling the rich Australian feature with the three-year-old, instead tending to focus more on further developing the promising pacer.

Despite being beaten into second by Diamonds N Cash in his three-horse Breeders Crown heat at Addington on July 13, there was still some thought given to trekking over the Tasman to compete, but Hill is happy with the decision that’s been made.

“Both Ian and myself were of the opinion that we were better staying at home.

“There’s nothing wrong with the horse, but he’s still very much the raw package and being able to work with him here at home seems like a good option right now.”

Hill is happy with the horse, but he’s got some work to do on teaching him to be more of a racehorse with his current pattern being on the speed, often in front - which leaves him a sitting duck for speedy opponents, as was the case in the Breeders Crown heat.

“The way he races at the moment, that’s just something that can happen to him.

“I want to teach him to sit in and be potent at the end of his races.”

The learning won’t be starting this week, though, with Cullenburn drawn to lead, and most likely win at Addington on Friday night.

He’s drawn the pole in a small but handy field of pacers early in the night’s proceedings and from there it looks like Ricky May’s only option will be to punch forward and look to dominate.

“It looks like we only really have the one option from there.

“He’s a happy horse at the moment. I was going to give him a run at the trials midweek and just sit him in, but I worked him on Monday and he felt really good, so we didn’t bother.”

Hill hasn’t got any lofty goals in place with the rising four-year-old but hopes to have him racing somewhere during Cup Week and all going well through to some of the four-year-old features later in the season.

  • NZ Harness News

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