Racing: Cup thrill from afar

Former Otago pacer Terrorway, who will start in the Victoria Cup at Melton on Saturday. Photo by Tayler Strong.
Former Otago pacer Terrorway, who will start in the Victoria Cup at Melton on Saturday. Photo by Tayler Strong.
The raceday nerves are not there but Graeme Anderson will still get a kick out of Terrorway taking on Australasia's finest pacers in this Saturday's A$400,000 ($NZ502,000) Victoria Cup at Melton, northwest of Melbourne.

Anderson and co-trainer Amber Hoffman prepared Terrorway from their Westwood Beach training establishment to win all of his six race starts between January and July 2011.

The Western Terror entire was sold later in July to owners associated with the John McCarthy stable, and was good enough to win The Blacks A Fake (formerly Winter Cup) at group 1 level

at Albion Park this July. He has had 17 wins and earned $A340,634 in stakes. Terrorway put the rest of the Victoria Cup field on notice with his impressive win in the group 1 Cranbourne Cup last Saturday - a result in which Anderson had a vested interest.

''We had a good bet on and I couldn't believe the price he paid [$18.40],'' Anderson said.

He bought Terrorway at the 2008 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sales for $26,000, and the horse impressed Anderson while he was in the stable.

''We always thought he was a very smart horse.

''We didn't give him away, put it that way. We thought he would always make it to the top. He always had a great ability to stay which is helping him now.''

The Victoria Cup field is considerably stronger than last week's Cranbourne Cup. Reigning Interdominion champion Im Themightyquinn has travelled from Perth and has drawn barrier three, immediately outside Terrorway.

There is some Kiwi-trained flavour added to the field with Mah Sish - sixth in the Cranbourne Cup - joined by Gold Ace, Pembrook Benny and Sushi Sushi, who has stayed with Mark Purdon after his New Zealand Cup tilt in November.

Smoken Up proved he was not a spent force just yet with a win last week at Melton, while Washakie broke the Bankstown track record in his Treuer Memorial win earlier this month.

Terrorway's sire, Western Terror, has gained the respect of New Zealand harness racing fans through the exploits of Terror To Love, but the mare captured Anderson's attention first.

''I didn't actually buy him because of the sire. His mother [Rejoicing] was a very strong racehorse.''

Rodney Dickson prepared Rejoicing to four wins in 2002 and 2003 and she produced Jupiter Grove (two wins) at her first attempt as a broodmare.

Rejoicing has not had much success in the breeding barn since Terrorway, although Terrorway's win last Saturday will be a boost for the connections of Bon Accord Art (by Art Official) when she is offered at the Premier sale next February.

''His win in the group 1 increased her value, no doubt.''

- matt.smith@odt.cco.nz