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TAB Trot Slot holder Aldebaran Lodge’s Aldebaran Zeus winning on Grins Night of Champions 2023. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.

Big guns on both sides of the Tasman come to the table for Cambridge’s first TAB Trot Slot

Many of Australasia’s key players are among the eight slot holders confirmed for the first slot race for trotters, the TAB Trot Slot, at Cambridge next year.

The inaugural edition of TAB Trot Slot, which will carry an initial stake of $575,000, will be held at Cambridge Raceway on Grins Night of Champions, April 12.

The slot holders who will be scouting for runners in the mobile 2200 metre race for trotters aged three or older are:

* TAB NZ

* Aldebaran Park

* All Stars Racing/ Chris Ryder

* Cullen Breeding

* Haras Des Trotteurs

* Hidden Honey

* Strike Won Racing

* Taylor St Racing Club Syndicate

Cambridge Raceway CEO Dave Branch said it was great to have key players in the harness industry involved.

“We have a really good mix of individuals and businesses which will bring their own energy to the promotion of the race,” he said.

“For us the goal was to get the race off the ground in year one, so that like The Race by Grins, we have something to grow in future years.

“This race wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Entain NZ & Australia and the slot holders who have backed this concept from the start.

“We’re excited to see the negotiations begin now as to who can secure which horses. That will be a huge part of the build-up. There’s already a lot of discussion underway and we think it could be one of the best trotting fields we’ve seen in New Zealand.”

While there was opportunity for 10 slot holders, the race will go ahead with just eight runners in the first year.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Cambridge

Race 3: Lincoln Lou
6.39pm

“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”

Race 5: Commander Lincoln
7.31pm

“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”

Race 8: Onyx Shard
8.55pm

“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”

Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
8.55pm

“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”

Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
8.55pm

“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”

Race 9: Frisco Bay
9.22pm

“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Saturday night at Albion Park

Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time

“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”

Whales Harness