The Night Hawk to swoop on Forbury Park
By Jonny Turner
Central Districts raider The Night Hawk will enjoy a massive step down in class when starting in the second heat of the Forbury Park Claimers Series on Thursday night.
The Scott Dickson trained pacer battled with leading North Island pacers On The Cards and Triple Eight, before running in to quality intermediate grade horses Change Is Good and Storm Prince in his last two starts at Nelson.
The Night Hawk’s drop in class stands out on paper - he is rated a massive 18 points higher than any of his opposition in Thursday night’s 2200m event.
“You would think it would be a lot easier than racing in the country cup fields he has been racing in around [in the North Island] and Nelson,” Dickson said.
“He should be pretty well placed there, I would think.”
The Night Hawk has worked his rating upward after racking up a massive tally of eight wins this season.
Superstar pacer, Turn It Up, with his nine wins, is the only horse in New Zealand that has won more races than the Central Districts pacer, this season.
Dickson said The Night Hawk was probably not at his absolute peak after a long season of racking up those wins.
However, he was still pleased with the horse’s condition going in to Thursday night’s race.
“He is probably not as good as he was over summer when he was racing good.”
“But in saying that he went a two-minute mile rate at Nelson and the ran home in 56sec, so he is not going to have to run that time.”
The Night Hawk could not get in to his last in the Nelson Winter Cup when forced to chase a hot pace from his 30m back mark.
The winner, Storm Prince, ran won in a slick 2.00.9sec mile rate for the 3000m feature.
The Paul Court trained pacer clocked his last 800m coming in 56.4sec.
The Night Hawk will be making a home coming of sorts at Forbury Park tonight.
And it could be permanent.
The pacer won three races for trainers Syd Breen and Tony Stratford on the Southland and Otago circuit before going Dickson’s Hunterville stable.
The Night Hawk could stay in his former home patch if a keen buyer takes up the $10,000 claiming option on the horse on Thursday night.
If he is not claimed, the horse would continue to race in the further heats of the Forbury Park Claiming Series for Dickson, the trainer said.
The Night Hawk is not the only horse that faced a big drop in class ahead of Thursday night’s second heat.
Ideal Breeze comes in to the event after racing in quality intermediate grade fields in Southland that have included U May Cullect, Born To Boogie and Mongolian Cavalry.
Though Ideal Breeze went a fair race behind Mongolian Cavalry at Ascot Park in his last start, the Des Baynes trained pacer mare had one of his main rivals, Mr Handleman, well covered.