Second Auckland Cup for Self Assured
By Michael Guerin
Jean Feiss could be excused for not being able to wait to get her glamour boy Self Assured back to Australia to show him off.
But after winning a second $400,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup with the wonderful little pacer at Alexandra Park on Friday night she says taking him back to Australia really doesn’t worry her.
“I will leave all that up to Mark,” says Feiss without a hint of parochialism.
“I think he loves racing in New Zealand and I actually think it suits him better.
“So I won’t be suggesting he comes to the Interdoms even though it is in my home state and I will leave decisions about races like the Miracle Mile to Mark.
“If he wants to bring him to Australia then great. If he doesn’t, I am happy coming over here to see him race.”
That raises the very real prospect of Self Assured having a crack at a second open class pacing Triple Crown, something that didn’t really exist until the birth of The Race this season.
Self Assured of course won that $900,000 slot race to add it to the Auckland Cup he won in 2019 and the New Zealand Cup of 2020, so he has one very discombobulated Triple Crown to his name and has now started working on his second.
Those who took the short odds about him on Friday had few reasons to worry as he stepped well from the 3200m, worked to the lead after a lap and then trailed South Coast Arden when he was launched a lap from home.
There was a slight wobble at the top of the straight but he soon raced clear for Natalie Rasmussen, having her first drive on the star, beating stablemate Spankem with Kango a booming late third in a career highlight for trainer Arna Donnelly.
One of the runs of the race came from Bettor Twist who settled last after an early galloped but ran on strongly for sixth in her last race, clocking exactly 4:00 flat for the 3200m.
It was Self Assured’s 26th career win from 43 starts and with his 16 placings he has only finished out of the money once when he galloped away from a stand.
With nearly $1.8million in stakes he is entering rarified air among our best pacers with the promise of so much more to come.