Ultimate Sniper new Inters favourite
By Jonny Turner
All Stars pacer Ultimate Sniper shot in to favouritism for the Interdominion pacing series with a brilliant record breaking win in its first heat at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The 4yr-old did not let a tough trip stop him from smashing the 2200m national record when clocking a sizzling 2.35.4 time that sent a clear message he meant business on his return to Auckland.
That time took a massive 0.7sec off the previous 2200m national record, which was held by his full brother, Ultimate Machete, along with Dalton Bromac.
Ultimate Sniper took his big brother’s record off him in stunning style when getting few favours in the running.
The Bettor’s Delight pacer was forced to race three wide early before driver Natalie Rasmussen found a spot for him midfield in the running line.
The reinswoman then called on Ultimate Sniper for a solo three wide bid before the 800m and the tough pacer did not let her down.
“He got no favours in the run, I sort of thought it would pan out a bit like that,” she said.
“I sort of had to get near them, I knew I couldn’t be coming five or six wide on the last bend.”
“He is tough — just credit to him — he ran a super race.”
Bookmakers moved Ultimate Sniper in to $2.70 favouritism for the Interdominion pacing final following his big win.
The victory came after the pacer stepped back in to the big leagues following a derailed New Zealand Cup campaign.
Ultimate Sniper was ruled out of the New Zealand Cup after flopping in the Ashburton Flying Stakes.
He then showed signs he was ready to take on Australasia’s best when producing a stunning win in the Junior Free-For-All on New Zealand Cup day.
“It probably just took him five or six runs to click on to [open class racing] and now that he has he is away,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen’s move around the field in the final lap set aside any concerns that Ultimate Sniper would not handle right handed racing.
The driver said she expects the horse to be even better around Alexandra Park as the Interdominions continune.
“I was up the track on that quick, hot speed and he never even looked like putting a foot wrong,” Rasmussen said.
“He paced beautiful and he handled the bends good.”
“I really think, each run he will be better through the series.”
Ultimate Sniper wore down his stablemate Chase Auckland, who finished second after leading.
Mach Shard took third after receiving a nice run in the trail.