Several chances in revived Dunedin Trotters Cup
By Jonny Turner
Though the trotters are long gone from Forbury Park, the locals can still claim victory in the revived Dunedin Trotters Cup at Wingatui on Friday.
The dust has been wiped off the trophy for the feature event, which will be back up for grabs after a hiatus.
Carrying Group 2 status in its prime, the return of the Dunedin Trotters Cup will carry a $20,000 stake and be run over 2200m under handicap conditions.
With horse numbers in the Dunedin region having free-fallen in the months following the closure of the Forbury Park track, Waikouaiti trotter Aveross Majesty is about as much of a local as any horse in this year’s field.
The seven-year-old brings an excellent form reference into the feature event with his dead-heat for second in the Methven Trotters Green Mile behind open class star Oscar Bonavena.
With an outstanding record on grass tracks and a workable 10m handicap, Aveross Majesty looks perfectly placed on Friday.
“He raced really well on the grass at Methven, and if he went as well again, he would have to be in with a show,” O’Connell said.
“He has come through that last race pretty well.”
“He hasn’t done a lot of work, we have just given him a bit of light jogging down the beach.
“But that is all he needs going into this race on Friday.”
O’Connell credits beach work at Waikouaiti Beach as the key to Aveross Majesty’s consistent recent form.
The regime helps keep the horse both happy and healthy.
“He is happy and well and eating up well, and we are hoping he can go another good race.”
“He has been very consistent lately, and he hasn’t had a lot of luck - he has had to make his runs from back in the field.”
“But he has been going very well.”
Two more Otago trotters look like key winning chances in the Dunedin Trotters Cup on Friday.
Trained just a little bit further up the road at Katiki Beach, Cody Banner has the talent to win the race.
The often-wayward trotter was a big winner on New Zealand Cup Day, but his manners have let him down in two starts since then.
Oamaru squaregaiter Jimmy Carter’s form is in a similar spot heading into Wingatui’s feature trot.
The Phil Williamson trained eight-year-old was in excellent form before galloping in his last two starts.
Despite that, the 30m backmarker goes into the Dunedin Trotters Cup as the class horse of the field.