Thames Country Cups headline Cambridge meeting
By Brigette Solomon
Minutes after Show Day racing at Addington concludes, The Thames Country Cups meeting gets underway at Cambridge Raceway.
The two feature races of the night are Race 5, 7.59pm The Dunstan Thames Trotters Cup and Race 7, 8:51pm The IRT Thames Pacers Cup.
Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett bring two horses to compete for the Dunstan Thames Trotters Cup over 2200m, Kiwitrix and Melsadele. The latter was somewhat unlucky in her last start after being held up in the final stages to finish fourth at Alexandra Park on the 10th November.
“We are aiming Melsadele for the NZ Trotting Oaks and she needed another race leading up to it and without a mobile race for her this was it,” says Wallis.
“Prior to last start Kiwitrix form has been consistent.”
Both the Wallis/Hackett runners start off 10 metres with Melsadele driven by Todd Mitchell while Junior Driver Crystal Hackett drives Kiwitrix.
The 11-horse field also includes two last start winners with the Jason Teaz trained Ultimate Moment winning this trip three weeks ago at Cambridge and Cruise Liner who won comfortably at Alexandra Park on the 19th October for trainers Clare and Dave McGowan.
“We’ve found keeping Cruise Liner fresh is key so he spent a few days in the paddock after his last race,” says Dave McGowan.
The highest rated horse in the field is Sacred Mountain who starts off 30 metres, trained and driven by Cambridge local Nicky Chilcott.
“She’s in a really good space, her track work and workouts have been great. I think she’s capable of winning but it all depends how hard the horses up front go early over the 2200m trip with us having the 30 metres to make up,” says Chilcott.
Chilcott also lines up Phoebe Majestic in Race 1, first starter It’s Nae or Never in Race 3 and Village Rebel in the Thames Pacing Cup.
“It’s Nae or Never is very green but she is a lovely filly and the first of Juice Brogden’s foals to race which is pretty special. Village Rebels last start was ok and this field is a bit more his level so I think he will be competitive,” says Chilcott.
Spring Cup winner Fernleigh Cash also starts in the Thames Pacing Cup.
Driver Alicia Harrison says “he’s pretty quick and safe from a stand and although he starts off 25 metres he should have a pretty good show.”
Team Telfer also starts Medina Magic and Ideal Delight in Race 4.
“Both horses have been working well and with Medina Magic having good gate speed to utilize I think he should be a chance,” says Harrison.
While Fernleigh Cash may be the standout horse in the Thames Pacing Cup field there are several that can’t be discounted with the likes of Brookie’s Jaffa, Cos I Can, and the consistent You Little Beauty who steps up in grade for this race.