Vacation Hill tough to beat again
By Jonny Turner
Vacation Hill will boost her chances of going on a working holiday if she can repeat her brilliant first up win at Addington on Sunday.
The Kevin Townley trained 3yr-old turned heads in her first run since lockdown, powering past the talented Majestic Lavros to win, early last month.
Townley admitted he has not been able to fault his smart 3yr-old since her victory.
“I have been very happy with her, it is hard not to be, she is a lovely trotter,” Townley said.
“She had a quiet week after her win and we have just built her up again for Sunday.”
“I think she will go well again.”
Vacation Hill will effectively be on trial in the coming weeks to take on the country’s best male 3yr-old trotters in races like the rescheduled Sires Stakes Championship and Sales Series Final at Alexandra Park.
“There only look to be a couple of really good 3yr-olds, so if it stays that way we might send her to Auckland.”
“The other 3yr-olds are still very nice horses, but so is she.”
“If it was looking like four or five top ones were going to be there we might not go.”
“But, if she can keep going the way she is she might get there.”
Part of the push to take on the Alexandra Park features comes from the condition Vacation Hill has returned in after having a six-week break following her New Zealand Trotting Oaks win in March.
“She had six weeks off and she has come back in really well,” Townley said.
“I think it’s the Muscle Hill part of her that keeps her improving.”
“She has always shown ability, she could have raced as a 2yr-old but she wasn’t ready for it so I decided against it.”
“But this season she is a lot stronger.”
Vacation Hill clashes with the in-form Missalyssa, who has been highly impressive in winning three of her last four starts at Addington, in race 4.
Trainer Jonny Cox holds a key hand in race 6, another talented line up of fillies and mares.
His stable’s pairing of Folklore and Sagano will clash with Robert Dunn’s leading contenders Need You Now and Spellbound.
Though there is little between his two, Cox is leaning towards Sagano as his better chance following her defeat of the two Dunn fillies in their last meeting.
“There is not a lot between them, but with the hard racing Sagano has had, I would lean towards her,” the trainer-driver said.
“Folklore got crook a few weeks ago, so she is a bit behind her.”
“Even though she ran eighth last time she ran some pretty good sectionals, she just couldn’t get a drag in to it.”
Sagano faces a tougher test with Spellbound and Need You Now bound to strip fitter than in their last meeting
Cox is hopeful his mare can still test her main rivals.
“I think Sagano can handle it, because even though she hasn’t got a real snap turn of foot she can maintain her speed for quite a while.”
Forgone Conclusion looks a big winning chance for Cox in race 8 following his first up run for second behind Ashes To Ashes at Addington last week.
“He had never seen a tape, so he was a bit slow, but he paced away.”
“It was a good effort and he has come on from that run.”
“If he can get away a bit quicker he will be a good eachway show.”
Cox also drives winning chances I Am Adaline (race 3) and Lennox Bromac (race 5) on Sunday.