Racing: All forgiven after Omakau win

Four Starzzz Flash and Matthew Cross make up after the pacer's success in the Central Otago...
Four Starzzz Flash and Matthew Cross make up after the pacer's success in the Central Otago Trotting Cup at Omakau yesterday. Photo by Matt Smith.
Four Starzzz Flash has found an extra gear on the race track - and his minder is going to have to find some extra gear off it.

The 6yr-old son of Four Starzzz Shark won the group 3 Central Otago Trotting Cup yesterday coming three-wide from the 600m mark in the hands of driver Dexter Dunn to beat local favourite Franco Ledger, who did well to finish second, after sitting parked for the last lap.

Four Starzzz Flash joined the Cran Dalgety stable before Christmas, and Matthew Cross has been given the responsibility of looking after the horse for the trip. The big pacer, who is still an entire, may not be his biggest fan, though.

''He actually ripped my jacket earlier in the day and tore that apart and then he stood on my foot [after the race], so you take the good with the bad in this game,'' Cross said.

The standout New Zealand product of Four Starzzz Shark had been trained by co-owner Kevin Chapman, who decided to send his stable star to the Dalgety barn for some variety.

''Kevin doesn't have a pool so we're swimming him,'' Cross said of Four Starzzz Flash.

''He's able to run with our ones in track work and he's brightened up ...

''Even today, Dexter said he felt awesome - mainly it's just the swimming and change of scenery [improving him].''

Cross said Chapman had done a super job with the horse, who won the 2009 Elsu Classic, and the new arrangement was working well.

''He's happy for us to have him. We're doing the job and hopefully we keep doing the job for him.''

Cross likened the change of scenery to a human's daily working routine.

''It's just like us ... if you went to work for a while and everything was the same, you'd get bored of it.''

Four Starzzz Flash was impressive winning the Ashburton Cup on Boxing Day, pacing the 3200m in less than four minutes, and there were no fears about his ability to back up.

''He was super the day after [Ashburton]. He ate up, and had a couple of hobbled runs in between.

''He seems to have a good recovery. He came back in [yesterday] and didn't blow a match out so he must have been pretty ready to go.''

A battle against the dual New Zealand Cup winner could be on the cards next.

''Terror To Love will be down here [at the Northern Southland Cup] so we might have to come and fight him.''

Franco Ledger's trainer-driver, Hamish Hunter, admitted a charge of excessive use of the whip and was fined $400.


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