Wilma's Mate set to fly to Australia
NZ HARNESS NEWS
Which country Wilma’s Mate will officially represent and whether she will get a start in the Inter Dominion Trotting Championship are both totally up in the air.
One thing is certain, though - Wilma’s Mate herself will soon be up in the air.
The six-year-old missed a guaranteed starting spot in the upcoming series by just one place when final rankings were released on Wednesday.
Her 25th placing in the trotting rankings has made her immediate racing future totally uncertain.
What is definite is that Wilma’s Mate will be doing it in Australia.
She was to represent trainer Paul Nairn in the series had she gained a start and that is still a possibility as she only needs one horse to pull out to gain a starting spot.
The scenario has led to Nairn and owner Richard Cornelius working on a secondary plan in case that does not happen.
“She only needs one to pull out in either of the heats,” Nairn said.
“Richard has got a plan b, the horse will still go over, even if she doesn’t get in to the Inter Dominions.”
“She will go to Tim Butt in Sydney and if she were to sneak in to the field at the last minute he can still take her down there.”
Wilma’s Mate’s last start fifth behind Marcoola in the Dominion was enough to suggest she was worthy of an Inter Dominion tilt.
“She trotted a lot better so, hopefully we have got her right,” Nairn said.
“I hope it is not just a one off, there has been a mix of things.
“A couple of her runs were a bit disappointing, but in saying that, she was coming back from a long spell and it is a tough grade to come back in.”
“She has had a couple of checks that have not really been her fault, that have caused her to gallop.”
Wilma’s Mate heads back to Australia with the hope she can keep her unbeaten record there intact.
She won the Victorian Trotting Derby and the Breeders Crown three-year-old fillies title, as well as a minor race, in the winter of 2016.
Whether she makes it to the Inter Dominion in Nairn or Butt’s colours will decide if three or four trotters fly the New Zealand flag in the series.
Speeding Spur has been ranked the number one trotter in the series after Wednesday’s final rankings.
Trainer Phil Williamson’s pair of Monty Python and Alderbeck are ranked ninth and 11th, respectively.
The release of the final rankings for the Interdominion pacing series confirmed just three New Zealand pacers are set to head to Melbourne.
All Stars pacer Cruz Bromac is the number two ranked horse in the series behind Tiger Tara, while Spankem sits in 15th spot, one higher than Pat’s Delight, who is in 16th.