Teaz pair ready to run
By Jonny Turner
Two progressive pacers give Ohaupo trainers Jason and Megan Teaz the chance to snare two late Christmas presents at Cambridge on Sunday.
The husband and wife trainers will attempt to break a run of placings when Brookies Jaffa starts in race 2 and Hawthornden Hunk debuts in race 4.
Brookies Jaffa has been handed a Christmas present of sorts when he attempts to clinch a deserved maiden win over 2200m.
The Auckland Reactor 4yr-old will start from inside barrier 6 for the first time in his career when lining up behind the mobile from the number 2 gate.
That alley could mean the pacer does not have to do the kind of extra work that has seen him produce gritty top four placings in his past three starts.
“He is a horse that can do it tough, so I wasn’t worried where he drew – but obviously getting a good one for a change is quite nice,” Jason Teaz said.
Brookies Jaffa hit the line powerfully for driver Peter Ferguson in his last start at Cambridge, last week.
The run was a sign of the continued improvement the pacer has shown since having his first start from the Teaz barn in November.
“When he arrived he was a bit of a work in progress,” Teaz said.
“But, we are finding – I know it is a bit of an old cliché – he is getting better every week we have him.”
Hawthornden Hunk has his first start from the Teaz stable in maiden company over 2200m.
The Betterthancheddar 4yr-old impressed when qualifying in respectable time at Cambridge in September.
“He is a nice big horse,” Teaz said.
“Through his workouts and trials he has shown heaps.”
“We have got a lot of time for him.”
Hawthornden Hunk had progressed well since his trial win before suffering a minor setback last week.
“He was ready to race last week, but his blood wasn’t quite right,” Teaz said.
“We have done another blood [test] this week and it was perfect.”
Missing last week’s race means Hawthornden Hunk goes in to Sunday’s race without a public performance since his good second at the Cambridge workouts early this month.
That is minor concern for his trainers ahead of his debut.
“We would have liked to have given him a trial last week, but obviously we haven’t been able to, so that is a slight concern,” Teaz said.
Hawthornden Hunk starts from barrier 3 with Ferguson in the sulky.
The pacer has shown gate speed in his prep runs, but he has also shown he has plenty to learn about racing.
“I would like to think he could cross the 1 and the 2.”
“But, it’s one thing to show gate speed at the trials and workouts and it’s another to show it at the races when they are all rushing out.”
Brookies Jaffa and Hawthornden Hunk are among a book of five drives for Peter Ferguson at Cambridge.