Reid bags impressive double at Cambridge

By Michael Guerin

Steven Reid produced two stunning back to back winners at Cambridge on Friday night but had an even better horse to look forward to on Saturday.

The Pukekohe trainer finally got the best out of former smart age group pacer Lou Baby when he demolished a lower grade field by 17 and three-quarter lengths, one of the biggest winning margins in the north in years.

As impressive as that was in may have been trumped in the very next race when debutante Next Level was well named, missing the start before storming to a remarkable maiden win suggesting he has plenty more in store.

Reid was thrilled with both but especially Lou Baby after a horrid run in the last 10 months after he was regularly locking horns with our best three-year-olds this time last year.

“Early on I thought he might go all the way through the grades,” says Reid.

“He won in 2:38 (2200m) at Alexandra Park one night but two runs later he fibrillated in the Northern Derby.

“We had all sorts of different issues with him after that. He has cracks in his hooves, got crook and I was wondering whether we would see the best of him again.

“But that was far more like it tonight and now Les (Purdon, owner) has to decide whether to race on, spell him or sell him. I’ll leave that to him.”

Next Level’s win was one of the better maiden successes in the north for a long time and with the reason for him giving away such a big start being his gait in the score-up, with experience and maturity he is going to be a potential Derby horse.

One horse Reid already knows is Group 1 quality is stable star Coastal Babe, who returns to the workouts at Pukekohe today (Saturday).

Already the winner of a Caduceus Club Classic (Group 1, Alex Park in September) and the Harness Million at Addington in October, Coastal Babe hasn’t raced since finishing fourth in the Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington on Show Day.

“We found she had an ulcer on her epliglottis after that so we gave her a month off and she was always going to miss the Grand Prix meeting.

“She put on heaps of weight during her break and looks huge so I will drive her in the workout myself and just let her run home in the field.”

Coastal Babe is being set for three summer targets, starting with the Harness Million at Alexandra Park on February 16, then the Peter Breckon Memorial on March 15 and the Northern Oaks back at The Park a week later.

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