Tweedledee to relish drop in grade
By Jonny Turner
A 45m handicap is no stroll in the park, but after competing in the fastest ever running of New Zealand’s greatest trotting race it might just feel that way for Tweedledee at Ascot Park on Wednesday.
The Southland trotter did trainer Lyndon Bond proud when running eighth in Sundee’s Son blistering 3-56.6 win in the 3200m Dominion.
The result was a creditable one given it was Tweedledee’s first taste of Group One racing.
“The speed they were going, he didn’t disappointment going the way he did, he beat half the field home,” Bond said.
“You know you have got a nice wee horse, but when you step up to that grade you’ve got to be a super horse.”
“I think he will be better next year, now that he has had a look at it.”
“We will just work away at it, the plan was we will have another three starts this year.”
“The way they graded this week we had to go.”
“Then we will look at the Trotters Green Mile at Methven and then the Gore Trotters Cup which he won last year.”
“That’s the plan at the moment.”
The back mark of 45m is made less daunting for Tweedledee and driver Samantha Ottley as they only face seven rivals on Wednesday.
With a quick beginning, the trotter could tack on to the field and be within four lengths of the lead, which would make him extremely hard to beat.
“Hopefully he gets away to a good start, then we will see what they do up front.”
“If he is running on good, I will be happy.”
Bond lines up two runners in race 7 on Wednesday in So Art I and Beez Neez.
So Art I went a big race first-up at Ascot Park behind Arnie’s Army when just nabbed late.
The three-year-old looks hard to beat from barrier 2 with Samantha Ottley also in the cart.
“She has had a wee freshen while I was in Christchurch but she has been working super.”
“There are a few in there with a bit of speed, like Mr Cash Man, but on the way she’s working, I would be disappointed if she is not in the first two.”
Beez Neez, who starts from barrier 1, comes into the 2200m event after a creditable run for sixth in the South Of The Waitaki race on Show Day at Addington.
“I was really happy with them, he had to do a bit of work and he went good.”
Brad Williamson takes the reins behind Beez Neez.
Bond starts pacer turned trotter Phoebe’s Delight in race 2.
The mare is still learning the trotting game but her trainer is hopeful she will get a better grasp of it shortly.
“I won’t give up on her because I know she can do it.”
“Phil (Williamson) has a couple of smart ones in there, if she was running third-fourth or fifth I would be pretty happy.”
Samantha Ottley also drives Phoebe’s Delight.