National marks could fall at Winton

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
National records could be under threat today at Winton where horses have the rare opportunity to race from a standing start over one mile (1609m).

Two fields of pacers and one of trotters will get the chance to put their name in the national history books if they can break open or age-group records.

Pacers have the chance of ending Thumper's long reign as the national all-comers standing-start mile record holder.

The meeting occurs just one day short of the 22nd anniversary of his sizzling 1min 57.1sec victory at Addington in 1997.

The David Mitchell-trained pacer, by Power Bunny from the Tuft mare, Sally Tuft, held out Lyell's Creek's half-brother, Swan Creek, by a neck to start a term as a national record holder that has lasted more than two decades.

Maiden pacers will get the first crack at Thumper's record in race 4 today.

Classy Kid showed the standing-start manners needed for mile racing in his last start at Wyndham.

The Jason and Amber Lethaby-trained gelding stepped to the lead before being shuffled back to a horror spot and subsequently running eighth.

"He was unlucky. I don't know if he would have won it, but he would have run in the money," Amber Lethaby said.

"He probably needed that run as well, because it had been three weeks between races.

"I was happy enough with him."

"Walking" around then sprinting home was "not really his go".

Barrier 2, combined with Classy Kid's excellent standing-start manners and his liking for short-course racing looks a winning formula.

"As long as the middle ones don't get a run in we should be able to hold our spot and we don't get crossed, that would be the aim.

"If he can lead, the mile should suit."

Lifeofbrian went a big race for third in the same race Classy Kid contested last time out. The race was won by Altimeter.

The Murray Swain-trained pacer stepped away slowly and can not afford to do that again from the unruly position today.

Canterbury pacer Kiwi Bloke's recent standing-start manners make him a leading chance in the race. The 5yr-old stepped straight to the lead in both his recent starts on the West Coast.

Kiwi Bloke held on for placings in both those races over the longer distances of 2500m and 2600m.

Trainer Ivan Court, whose horses are highly regarded as fast beginners, starts Ardent Lustre in the second standing-start mile race.

In his last try from behind the tapes, Ardent Lustre went straight to the lead in a stronger race at Nelson in January. He is well placed as a seven-race winner.

Groomsman also gets in to the race well as a 10-race winner.

The Hamish Hunter trained veteran's chances took a slight hit when he drew on the second line.

The all-comers national standing start mile record for trotters could also be under threat.

It has not lasted the same test of time Thumper's 1997 record - a 2min 03.4sec mark was set by Mortician in September last year.

Maiden trotters will get their chance to challenge that time in the first race today.

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