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Emerging pacer Heroes Square will face the toughest test of his short career when he starts from a wide draw in tonight’s Flying Stakes at Addington.
The Robert Dunn-trained 3yr-old has burst into New Zealand Derby contention with three highly impressive wins beginning with his debut last month.
Heroes Square will probably have to call on all his class if he is to keep his unbeaten record intact in tonight’s 1980m feature.
Drawing the outside of the front line in barrier 9 means the gelding and driver Tim Williams will have a huge task in front of them.
"It is going to be very tough for him from that draw," Dunn said.
"Tim will have to go back with him and try to get in to it."
Williams will fill in for Dunn’s son John, who was among several leading drivers stood down yesterday.
The group, which includes Mark Purdon and Zac Butcher, have been excluded from racing until Tuesday because they have returned from Australia recently.
Heroes Square will be in good company on the outside of the mobile arm, with leading 3yr-old Copy That starting alongside him.
The Ray Green-trained pacer will start from barrier 8 for new driver Blair Orange.
Heroes Square beat Flying Stakes rivals Minstrel, Skippys Delight and Burnham Boy in his brilliant last-start win in the Johnny Globe Classic at Addington last week.
The pacer steps up to race more proven horses in Copy That and One Change, who has the massive advantage of drawing barrier 1.
The Dunn stable also starts Tyron’s Bit Of Lemon from barrier 2 with Gavin Smith in the sulky.
He should get every opportunity is his first test against the country’s top 3yr-olds from his handy draw.
"It was a good win last time at Invercargill and he is working really well," Dunn said.
"He is a horse that loves getting out there and running those really strong sectionals."
Dunn and Williams will also combine with Henry Hubert in the Superstars Championship.
The 5yr-old’s brilliant fresh-up win in the Northern Southland Cup showed he was back at the top of his game following a short spell.
However, Henry Hubert may not get the chance to show that in tonight’s 1980m feature as he starts from barrier 1 on the second line.
"He is really well and working really well, but it is a disastrous draw for him, really," Dunn said.
The conditions for the Superstars Championship also put leading contenders Another Masterpiece and Triple Eight in tricky starting spots in barriers 8 and 9, respectively.
Trainer Steve Telfer is confident Triple Eight and driver David Butcher can handle their horror alley.
"It is his racing pattern — it’s just whether he gets around them in the middle stages or later on.
"It doesn’t seem to worry him and he has the right person behind him.
"David judges the pace well and he will put him in the race at the right time."
Triple Eight will be at Addington for the second time this season after clashing with Interdominion winner Ultimate Sniper in the spring.
He has returned fresh and ready for his Superstars tilt, the after handling his Interdominion, Auckland Cup and Hunter Cup races brilliantly.
"All of that racing definitely hasn’t done him any harm," Telfer said.
"He has had a pretty big season. Every race has been run in fast times and he has handled it well."
Another Masterpiece is set to start favourite after winning his last start in Sydney.