Perfect start for Chase Auckland
By Jonny Turner
Chase Auckland announced himself as a New Zealand Cup contender when sprinting to victory in the New Brighton Cup at Addington on Friday night.
The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained 5yr-old put a frustrating past season behind him when scoring a front running victory in the group 3 feature.
After being dogged by a muscle injury and a run of frustrating luck on the track last term, Chase Auckland could not have started his new season in more contrasting fashion.
The Auckland Reactor gelding began brilliantly in his first standing start attempt, before taking the lead early for driver Tim Williams.
Williams set a sedate tempo, that effectively won Chase Auckland the race with a lap to run.
The 5yr-old gave his rivals little chance of making ground when sprinting his last 800m in 54.4sec and final 400m in 26.2sec to win.
Spankem ran even faster sectional times when coming three wide on the home bend to run second.
The 5yr-old’s effort was good enough to see him maintain New Zealand Cup favouritism at $4.20 odds.
Ultimate Sniper and A G’s Whitesocks trailed the quinella makers home.
Hail Christian disappointed when running fifth.
Classie Brigade took no part in the race when galloping badly at the start.
The road to the Dominion heated up when Sundees Son and Oscar Bonavena trotted to sizzling wins at Addington on Friday night.
Sundees Son scorched away from his rivals when winning the group 3 Ordeal Trotting Cup by almost five lengths.
The win was the Robert Dunn trained 5yr-old’s fifth consecutive victory and confirmed his Dominion favouritism.
Driver John Dunn settled Sundees Son off a strong speed set up by Habibi Inta.
Once Dunn asked his charge for a three wide bid at the 700m, the trotter charged around the field to score comprehensively.
Destiny Jones ran home well out of the pack to grab second ahead of Habibi Inta, who held third.
Earlier, Oscar Bonavena started his Dominion campaign in brilliant style when rattling off sizzling final sectionals to win.
The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained 4yr-old ran his last 800m in 56.4sec and final 400m in 27.5sec to win in intermediate company.
The Purdon-Rasmussen stable forwent a tilt at the rich Australasian Breeders Crown with the trotter and that looks to have paid off with the way the horse returned from a short winter spell on Friday night.
Oscar Bonavena moved in to a $2.70 win price for the Dominion, following last night’s racing.
Sundees Sun heads the market at $2.30.