Oscar and Nat form unbeatable combo at Addington

By Michael Guerin

Comeback driver Natalie Rasmussen had a simple summary of how Oscar Bonavena felt at Addington last night.

“He feels like the Oscar we always though he’d be,” says Rasmussen.

The superstar trotted put six lengths on Smokin Bandar in the 2000m standing start trot, a nice welcome back to racing present for Rasmussen.

She had been out of the racenight sulky for six months and loved the feel Oscar gave her when she let him rip up the home straight.

“He is in such a good place, really in the zone,” says Rasmussen.

“I obviously hadn’t driven him in a race for a long time so to feel him like that was very cool.

“We all thought this was the horse he could be four years ago and I think after all his issues he has just matured into his body and his issues have calmed down.”

Oscar Bonavena has been able to dominate in the last few months without Muscle Mountain and Bolt For Brilliance to test him but even they might struggle to beat him at the moment.

We should get plenty of chances to find out but the race that looms largest on the open class trotting landscape now is the TAB Trot slot race a Cambridge on April 12.

That could well bring all three of the Kiwi big names together as well as Just Believe, who was announced in the club syndicate slot on Saturday morning, and Queen Elida.

So how does Rasmussen, a brutally hard judge, think Oscar would go against Just Believe?

“It would be a huge challenge because Just Believe has turned into a very good horse.

“But I don’t know that he is any faster than Oscar.

“So while he deserves to be favourite for sure, if Oscar is sitting on his back he could run him close because he is so fast.”

What looked like a perfect night for the All Stars after they won the last race with Major Hot, was anything but.

Rasmussen drove previously unbeaten filly Moments Like These, who galloped and was pulled up.

The night’s other feature saw a different type of comeback with The Falcon back to his best in the main pacing race.

True to driver Gerard O’Reilly’s suggestions on HRNZ on Friday, The Falcon returned to something like his best form and, as O’Reilly told readers he would be, he was driven cold.

The Falcon suffered from breathing issues caused by pollen over the spring but judging by Friday's win he could be in for a productive autumn off a low rating for Geoff and James Dunn.


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