Taxman to enjoy the Mot
By Jonny Turner
The green grass and wide open spaces of Motukarara Raceway should prove a relaxing spot for Taxman, who is among an exciting line up in Sunday’s feature pace at the picturesque track.
The former All Stars pacer is one of a brilliant capacity field contesting the Motukarara Christmas Cup.
Taxman will have his first start for trainer Regan Todd when Samantha Ottley drives him in the 2810m feature.
The 4yr-old has looked like more of a hard running sprinter made for all weather tracks than a grass track stayer when spearing to the lead in all of his three career wins.
Todd is hopeful punters will get to see a more relaxed and tractable version of Taxman in Sunday’s race after he took him to a grass track workout last week.
“I took him to the Methven workouts last weekend just to see how he would handle the grass and he took it all in his stride.”
“He seems a lovely wee horse.”
“I think he followed the gate out a few times when he was probably the best horse in a lot of his races.”
“But, going back to the stand will probably do him the world of good, because he will be able to settle in behind.”
Settling in behind horses will be not be completely new to Taxman if Ottley is able to take a sit with the pacer on Sunday.
Taxman produced a huge run for second behind Tango Tara on New Zealand Cup day from deep on the markers after making an early mistake.
“He has had a few hard runs and it would be good to see him come from off the speed a bit,” Todd said.
“But, that will be up to Sam, she will drive him how she sees it.”
Taxman clashes with fellow New Zealand Cup Carnival performers Scorcha and Sweet Mary in Sunday’s feature.
Scorcha is back in the South Island after clashing with star mare Belle Of Montana in the Group 1 Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park earlier this month.
Smart types Memphis Tennessee, Yorkshire and Eureka also add depth to the Motukarara Christmas Cup.
Todd has just one other runner at Sunday’s meeting in Claus.
The 7yr-old will have his first start from his Woodend Beach stable more than eighteen months after last going to the races.
Though Todd is weary about horses returning from long spells, he can not fault Claus ahead of his return in a 2000m mobile event.
“He has been off the scene a long time, but he has come up very well.”
“He has had a couple of workouts and he went nice on the grass at Methven last week.”
“You have always got that doubt with a horse that has been away from racing for so long.”
“But he is as ready as he can be.”
Todd has trotter Full Of Promise stepping out at Alexandra Park on New Years Eve.
The 4yr-old looks a big winning hope in race 1 on Auckland Cup night.