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
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
''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
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
''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.''