Reid not losing faith
By Michael Guerin
If there is a positive to your New Zealand Cup dream being turned upside down then Steven Reid has found it.
“I think the pressure if off us now,” the Pukekohe trainer says matter-of factly.
Reid and Star Galleria arrived in the South Island a month ago one of the Cup favourites, with the speed he had shown in his first two runs of the season at Alexandra Park suggesting with Tony Herlihy in the sulky anything was possible.
Since then things have only headed one way. The wrong way.
The speedster missed one lead up race, was surprisingly beaten after leading in the Methven Cup and the was good but only after missing away in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton.
That all led to one of the worst runs of his career in the Kaikoura Cup, which Reid views with blunt honesty.
“If I was looking at that as a punter I’d say he can’t win,” he admits. “But I know the horse and I haven’t given up.
“I think he might have had a mild bug, nothing serious, at Kaikoura because he was too bad to be true.
“So we changed tactics. We gave him a mild antibiotic and three days off and a really easy time and we are going to let him miss the Cup trial (Wednesday) too.
“So his last major run we will be with a galloping pacemaker on Thursday.”
While the build-up has been anything but ideal, Reid has not lost faith in the ability of his five-year-old.
“I still know how good he is and I still think he can win, even if he deserves to be a $18 chance.
“All along I have thought to win the Cup he was going to need to be driven for speed, for one run and I think the pressure being off means Tony can and will do that.
“I never discuss tactics with Tony but I can see him now driving him cold, parking away on the markers and only asking him to run a quarter and hoping a few others are dropping away.
“Whether he can win, I don’t know but you never do going into a Cup.”
Reid says no thought was given to missing the $800,000 race.
“It is the Cup, it has been his main aim and it is not as strong as some other Cups so he will be there.”
Aussie pacer Tiger Tara is now the $3.90 favourite and unless something very odd happens this week looks set to start the public and bookies elect in the great race tomorrow week.