Racing matters: Word of warning

With the amount of racing during the holiday break, plenty of horses are backing up quickly from their last races to the next. This creates a problem for some clubs, who have to print their books around the availability of commercial printers but are still trying to provide up-to-date information to on-course punters. There's no easy fix, but keep it in mind if you're on course and considering your bet - your horse's last run in the book might not actually be its last run.

I Can Pace-it?
You would think after 18 wins in a row against the best trotters Australasia has to offer, the last thing I Can Doosit would do in a race is start to pace. It baffled Mark Purdon, it baffled the viewers watching Monday's trotters' flying mile and it baffled me. I don't imagine ''baffled'' was the word in the mind of the punter who whacked $14,000 on I Can Doosit at $1.25, mind you. His effort to finish fourth on a 1.55.2 mile time was phenomenal and you can only assume he will be back on his best behaviour at Alexandra Park on Monday. That $14,000 punter might get a slightly better price this time - if he has any money left.

Stick with him
Speaking of horses giving the opposition big starts, keep an eye on Monty Python next time he lines up for Phil Williamson. He certainly wasn't the Messiah at Gore yesterday in a maiden trot, just a very naughty boy as he galloped for 200m before catching up and running a huge fifth.

Terrific track
A festive bouquet goes to Wingatui track curator Wayne Stevens and his team. Horses won from everywhere at Wingatui on Wednesday - on the pace, off the pace, inside and out. Considering the different weather conditions they had to deal with in the days prior and Boxing Day itself, it was a sterling effort. I am sure you wouldn't necessarily appreciate a floral bouquet from me, Wayne, so let's consider it a metaphorical bouquet.

The Ace
I don't expect to be beatified if John Of Arc comes in at the Winton harness meeting tomorrow in race 8. He's been big in his two seconds to date, and while the second-line draw doesn't suit, he's good enough to overcome that.

- matt.smith@odt.co.nz