Win no upset for Buchan
By Jonny Turner
A trickle of claret down his forehead was all part of the ride for trainer Craig Buchan as he got a much better reward for never losing faith in his trotter Top Pocket Chance.
Buchan got a small bump to the head for his trouble after the squaregaiter put a frustrating run behind him when he powered home to win race 5 at Winton on Thursday.
The cut was nothing compared to the figurative blood-nose Top Pocket Chance delivered backers of the favourites with his $43.80 win dividend.
The victory was the second upset of the summer produced by the pacer turned trotter turned pacer turned trotter again.
The son of Washington VC scored at Gore late in December when powering home from off the speed to win at $23.70 odds.
In between his upset wins, Top Pocket Chance’s best effort was a 10th placing, suggesting his form had well and truly plummeted.
But Buchan knew his P-0-0-0 formline didn’t tell the whole story.
“At Cromwell he put his foot in a hole in the track and then in his next start he trotted for about 150m and he got his legs taken out from underneath him.”
“I have been really happy with him, he had been working really good at home.”
“I knew he would go good, I actually told a couple people to back him.”
It hasn’t just been recently that Buchan has had belief in Top Pocket Chance’s.
“I think he is a really good horse.”
“If you watch him, every time he has trotted he has gone good.”
“I have put aluminium shoes on him in front, so he has got no weight.”
Driver Robbie Close has jumped in the sulky behind Top Pocket Chance twice recently and it just happens to have been when the trotter has produced his two victories.
The reinsman had the six-year-old in the running line throughout before weaving him between runners before the home turn.
Yesterday’s win was Top Pocket Chance’s fifth career victory as a trotter.
A pacing win has so far eluded the Washington VC six-year-old.