Racing: Luck turns for Sonnetsson

Peter Davis salutes after Sonnetsson wins the $12,000 Oamaru Cup yesterday. Photo by Matt Smith.
Peter Davis salutes after Sonnetsson wins the $12,000 Oamaru Cup yesterday. Photo by Matt Smith.
The handicappers at Harness Racing New Zealand are not always a trainer's friend, but Margo Nyhan was happy to praise them yesterday.

Nyhan's 7yr-old Julius Caesar pacer Sonnetsson was given a 10m let-up in the handicaps for yesterday's $12,000 Oamaru Cup and she was grateful the horse had the chance to regain some form.

''It made a big difference because he's such a good beginner,'' she said.

''He's been off handicaps and horses in front of him have been mucking him up a little bit.

''Getting him off the front, he just made a flyer like he normally does.''

Driver Peter Davis got Sonnetsson to the lead, before handing up to Falcon Crown shortly after the start. Falcon Crown then handed up to Democracy, giving Sonnetsson plenty of time to have a breather before he shot up the passing lane to win by 1 lengths in 3.58.5 for the 3000m.

Nyhan thought Sonnetsson was due some luck, after he has been dealt some harsh cards at times during his 56 starts prior to yesterday.

''I don't know where to begin,'' she said.

''He won a [junior drivers'] race at Reefton [in March 2010] and got relegated [from first to eighth]. Next start [at Methven], he went out hot favourite and fibrillated and after that, he choked down and fell.

''He's just been a really bad-luck horse.''

Sonnetsson has also tested Nyhan at home, with a ligament injury behind a knee requiring her specialist skills.

''I actually do acupuncture therapy and if it wasn't for the therapy I do, he wouldn't even race,'' she said.

As kind as the handicappers were to Sonnetsson yesterday, Nyhan knows his task gets harder again.

''He's a six-win horse, so we'll have to pick and choose his races but we'll just see what's coming up.''