Make Way will be in the party from the pole but Ants picks he’ll be half a run short
Make Way had a sharpen up in a trial at Melton on Tuesday but he’s still expected to need the run when he resumes there on Saturday night.
Trainer Sonya Smith elected to give the horse a quiet trial after he missed a race two weeks ago with a bad cold and partner Anthony Butt just let him tootle along behind his rivals.
“They ran a bit of time so I just sat back and let him sprint home,” said Butt. “And he ran up the straight really well.”
No official time was taken in the four-horse heat won by January’s Mercury80 1200 metre dash winner Always Fast but the opposition was solid with runner-up Alice Kay the winner of her last two starts and third-placed Two Times Bettor a 13-race winner for Emma Stewart.
Make Way was last of the quartet, 11.5 metres from the winner but only a head from third at the line and closing nicely.
“We don’t normally trial our horses so close to a race but it was a good little hit out for him.
“He’s going to need the race on Saturday, because he hasn’t raced for so long - I’m picking he’ll be half a run short.
“It’s a pretty tough field but he should get a good run from one and I’m sure he’ll still go well.
“He has gate speed so I’ll come out and then weigh it up after that.”
Make Way hasn’t raced since June when he was sidelined with a lingering foot abscess and, just when he was ready to go again, he developed an inflamed throat soon after travelling to Melbourne.
But he has been a consistently good performer for Smith and Butt since arriving in Australia in January, 2019, winning 11 races and placing another eight times.
More news in Harness
Ray expecting Lincoln Farms pair to go well - but Ashburton isn’t Grand Final day
Al’s bullish $4 tip very nearly comes unstuck as Larry resents being chased
Ray’s faith in Apieceoflou justified - but his mates in the pub didn’t back him!
Early fireworks would help high speed closer Northview Hustler on Saturday night
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Tuesday at Albion Park
Race 8: Man Of Action
7.38pm NZ time
“He’s come through his win last week really well and should run first or second again from another good draw. Soho Tsunami will be a big danger. He’ll get a good trip on our back.”
Friday night at Auckland
Race 1: Apieceoflou
“He’s just been incredibly unlucky - he was knocked over at the start last time - but if things go his way we’ll see a better animal.”
Race 1: Captain Nemo
“If he gets the right trip from five, he’ll be right there at the finish. This is little more than a jumped up maiden race.”
Race 4: Tommy Lincoln
“He’s in a grade now where he can’t get away with being driven like a toe rag all the time and from the second row he’s obligated to have a much more conservative trip. He’ll need a bit of luck but, if he’s not put in the race too soon, he shouldn’t be too far away.”
Race 7: Revitalise
“I’ve scratched him. He’s recovering from a foot abscess.”
Friday night at Melton
Race 1: Make Way
7.33pm NZ time
“He pushed them over the line last week and felt really good - he was only jogging at the finish. The (seven) draw has killed our hopes a bit but you never know …”
Friday at Albion Park
Race 5: Larry Lincoln
10.18pm NZ time
“We’ll drive him quietly on Friday, just hold our position out of the gate, and give him some confidence. It’s not a strong field - it’s a bit of a drop in class on what he’s been racing - and on the times he’s been running in training this week he should be winning.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 3: Northview Hustler
9.48pm NZ time
“His run last week was exceptional. His chances depend on how the race is run. With the one and three horses having gate speed there could be early fireworks, which would suit him, as we’ll probably drive him the same and use his speed late.”
Sunday at Cambridge
Race 6: Bondi Shake
“He would have won had he not galloped close to home last time. He just turned his head to one side when he got alongside that other horse and might have touched a knee. We’ll rectify that by putting two poles on him.”
Monday at Ashburton
Race 5: American Dealer
“From the pole, he should get a perfect trip. It’s hard to know what the others will do but we get out well enough to be handy. He’ll go well but he’s already qualified for the final so there’s no urgency. It would be nice to win it but we don’t have to.”
Race 7: Copy That
“He’s never gone away badly from a stand - he’s always reasonable and safe - so he shouldn’t be far off them when they settle. I see him in midfield. I’m not expecting too much from him. So long as he goes well, I’ll be happy.”