Pacer to step of out the shadows
By Jonny Turner
Cast No Shadow will attempt step in to the limelight and score a deserved win at Rangiora today.
The Paul Court trained pacer will attempt to improve on his excellent runs in the Ashburton and Invercargill Cups to win the Amberley Cup.
Cast No Shadow goes in to the 2600m feature after being one of few horses to make any ground on the leaders in an on speed dominated Invercargill Cup, won by Dadndave.
“His last two runs down south have been pretty good, I thought,” Court said.
“Had he not put in a few rough steps in early in the Invercargill Cup he probably would have found the top and he would have been hard to roll.”
“I think the telling point was those horses off marks couldn’t figure in the finish and it showed how the race was run.”
Though today’s field has its share of talent, the 4yr-old looks to be dropping slightly in class.
“He has been racing in what I would say are stronger fields, so he would have to be pretty competitive on Thursday,” Court said.
Cast No Shadow opened the $3.60 equal favourite with Stars Tonight’s in the Amberley Cup fixed odds market,
Cast No Shadow has a 10m advantage over his rival, who starts behind him on the 20m mark.
Stars Tonight will shoot for a hat-trick of wins after going two-from-two on the recent Marlborough circuit.
Cheezel and Just Holla look the hardest horses on the front line for the backmarkers to beat.
Court is hoping for more luck with Mongolian Conqueror than the horse got in his last start at Addington.
The 3yr-old was held up in the straight, which was mostly his own fault after he hung inwards on driver Scott Phelan
“Scotty said he was actually easing him to come out and he ducked in sharped sharply,” Court said.
“Then he roughed it for a couple of stride when he did that.”
“Then 50m short of the line he had nowhere to go.”
Mongolian Conqueror risks getting in to another tight spot if he does not muster enough gate speed for driver Samantha Ottley to hold a forward position from barrier 1, today.
“He is a progressive type of horse and the potential is there, but he has got a lot to learn,” Court said.
“The only thing is he doesn’t really have a enough gate speed to hold up from 1.”
“You just have to look after him a little bit.”
“But, I will be telling Sam to try to punch him out as best as possible.”
Court starts another 3yr-old at today’s meeting in Yoha.
She also goes in to her race without much having clear in the straight after racing four back on the inner for Ottley in her last start at Addington.
“Sam got off and she actually said she was rapt, because she ran out of room the last 50m.”
“Her work has been good and she has been kept on the fresh side, so we will so how we go.”
Court’s star pacer Hail Christian will compete in the first qualifying race for the Miracle Mile at Menangle on Saturday night.
The trainer freshened the 5yr-old after he won the first two starts of his Australian campaign in December.
Hail Christian trialled before running eight behind Field Marshal at Menangle last weekend.
Those runs should have the pacer closing in on full fitness.
“He went like he needed it, but I think that after that run on Saturday he will be back to close to where we need him,” Court said.
Hail Christian has copped a terrible draw in barrier 11 in Saturday night’s mile (1609m) race.