The Falcon chasing more Cup glory
By Jonny Turner
For an impressive last start winner who made a flying beginning, The Falcon faces an unusual challenge in the Waikouaiti Cup.
The Geoff and James Dunn trained pacer will attempt to back up his highly impressive Cheviot Cup win in the 3000m Oamaru feature on Sunday.
The main challenge for the four-year-old and driver Gerard O’Reilly comes as he steps back on grass for just the second time.
Because in his first attempt on turf, The Falcon didn’t make the same kind of smart beginning he did in his last start win.
“We took him to the grass and when he broke, he panicked, he didn’t know what to do,” Geoff Dunn said.
“He began real good at Addington so hopefully he can do that again.”
If he can step away, The Falcon should relish the 3000m staying test on offer at Oamaru if his powerful last start victory at Addington is anything to go by.
“He went super, he ran along a bit and he stuck it out really good,” Dunn said.
“He has always been a nice horse but he has just taken a bit of time and he is really good now.”
“He has come through that run super and hopefully he can go good again on Sunday.”
Geoff and James Dunn also start Twice Shy in race 7 with Sarah O’Reilly to do the driving.
The four-year-old has won her last two of just three starts since shifting south from Auckland.
“She has been a real surprise package, they sent her down because she wasn’t going to be good enough up there,” Dunn said.
“But she has gone super for us.”
“The draw (9) does make it tough for her, I do believe you do need to be handy on the grass track at Oamaru.”
“Hopefully she can get a decent run somewhere, if she does she should go another good race.”
Leading local reinsman Matthew Williamson returns to the sulky at his home track on Sunday after he was forced to sit out the last two South Island harness meetings.
After receiving a negative Covid PCR test, the reinsman is itching to get back into the sulky.
Williamson rates Ariella (race 10), Delightful Gloria (race 4) and Oliver North (race 11) among his best chances.
Ariella is set to start a short-priced favourite in race 10 for trainers Graeme Anderson and Mike Love.
“She has had a wee freshen up,” Williamson said.
“I think in that field and with that draw (2) she is probably the one to beat.”
Oliver North was a fair sixth in his last start at Addington, but Williamson thinks he can turn things around in race 11.
“He had been going super before his last start which was a bit of a letdown.”
“But his runs prior, even when he was down the track, he was going super with his times on the clock.”
“I’d say he is as good as anything in the race and if he gets any luck he’s an eachway chance.”
Williamson also rates Delightful Gloria an eachway chance in race 4 for trainer Steve Allen.
“I have got a bit of confidence there, she went a good race the other day at Oamaru.”
“Dropping back in grade, I thought she would be a good eachway chance.”
Gotta Elect Bill looks another strong one for the reinsman in race 2.