Trathen dreaming the dream

By Michael Guerin

Tim Trathen knows Dadndave isn’t your usual New Zealand Cup horse.

But that won’t stop him dreaming the dream of the second Tuesday in November after the four-year-old’s brave comeback win at Addington on Friday night.

The little pacer with the big heart combined gate speed and tenacity in the hands of Bob Butt to take out the feature pace of harness racing’s return weekend, beating favourite Nandolo for speed up the passing lane after sitting on him in the trail.

It was Dadndave’s seventh career win and while he will now continue down the unusual winter path we have all be sent on by Covid-19, trainer and co-owner Trathen has THAT race in the back of his mind.

“We’d like to think we could get him to the Cup,” says Trathen.

“He is a good stayer who likes it the further the races are and he is good from a standing start.

“So we might give him two or three more starts this time in, a short spell and set him down a Cup path.”

Trathen might only train eight horses, a number that close to doubles when he takes on other trainer’s young ones to break in or pre-train, but he knows a good horse and doesn’t aim his stable star at the Cup naively.

“I know how hard it will be but you don’t often get a horse good enough to start in the Cup.

“As everybody knows Dave McHugh from the Yaldy (Hotel) is in him and he would love to have a horse in the Cup and so would I.

“The only sad part would be Dad not be here to enjoy it.”

Trathen’s father John passed away in February, so his mother Sue has now taken over that share in Dadndave.

While he was the pacing star of the night the trotting highlight came from a wildly different shaped horse in Matua Tana.

The big horse with the short attention span outlasted another quality animal in Cracker Hill in the main trot but considering the three-year-old gave his conqueror a 10m start the honours were probably shared.

Matua Tana has the motor to be an open class force and he suggested just that when he won at Addington last September by over seven lengths.

But trainers Greg and Nina has had their troubles with him since and all the way up the Addington straight punters who took the $6 about him would have been holding their breath.

He was aided by driver Gerard O’Reilly sitting quiet as a mouse in the sulky and while wouldn’t want your last dollar on him any time soon, if Matau Tana can continue to gain confidence he could join Dadndave in a mid-November group one of a different gait.


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