Top trotter to miss Friday's ANZAC Cup

By Michael Guerin

The team behind Aardiebythehill haven’t given up on getting him to the Rowe Cup next week even though he will miss Friday’s Anzac Cup at Alexandra Park.

One of the finds of the trotting season, Aardiebythehill would have been among the favourites for Friday’s 2200m standing start because he would have been getting a decent head start over horses like Oscar Bonavena and Majestic Man who has been able to beat at times this season off level marks.

But regular driver John Dunn says a bad blood report and slight cough has ruled Aardiebythehill out of this week.

“He has just been a bit off the last week or so and we still haven’t quite worked it out,” says Dunn.

“He had a cough recently and his blood was a bit out so he might have picked up a bug from another horse.

“It might not be anything serious so we are hoping to get on top of it so he can start next week.”

Even with Aardiebythehill and hot favourite Muscle Mountain missing the Fisken And Sons Anzac Cup has drawn a surprisingly large 12-horse field, although that may actually be helped by Muscle Mountain not being there.

Eurokash and Matua Tana join many of the horses who have been contesting the recent Alexandra Park open class trots while former Victorian trotter All Cashed Up enters the elite ranks here after a big winning Alexandra Park debut last time out for new trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett.

The TAB opened Oscar Bonavena, who was such an eye-catching third behind Muscle Mountain in the National Trot last start, as the $3.60 favourite for the Anzac Cup.

The bookies have opted for Old Town Road as their favourite for the Roy Purdon Memorial over 2200m on Friday, his 10m advantage at the start over Self Assured reflected in their $2.70 vs $2.80 opening prices, with Akuta at $3.80.

Unbeaten filly Millwood Nike will be everybody’s anchor at $1.10 in the richest race of the night the $130,000 Magness Benrow Sires’ Stakes Championship.

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