Racing: Smiling Shard team all smiles after workout

Smiling Shard (Dexter Dunn) in his final New Zealand Trotting Cup workout at West Melton...
Smiling Shard (Dexter Dunn) in his final New Zealand Trotting Cup workout at West Melton yesterday. Photo by Tayler Strong.
CHRISTCHURCH: Smiling Shard was passed fit by racing officials to start in the $600,000 New Zealand Cup tomorrow after a bold workout at West Melton yesterday.

Stewards ordered the fitness test after Smiling Shard displayed lameness after his win in the Kaikoura Cup last Monday.

Trainer Cran Dalgety was not concerned.

"He often walks like a tin soldier after his races. It is a tying up thing," he said.

Cran Dalgety
Cran Dalgety

Racing Integrity Unit stewards Cameron George (chief) and Nigel McIntyre and their appointed veterinarian, Tania Hill, were on hand for the workout yesterday on the property of Dalgety.

"He felt really great. He is not a good track worker," Dexter Dunn, the driver of Smiling Shard, said after the workout.

Dalgety said Smiling Shard had improved since Kaikoura.

"He has tightened and toned and looks like an athlete," he said.

Smiling Shard ran 2400m in 3.15, the last 800m in 61 with a galloping prompter, Emaline Franco, driven by Dalgety.

He was then given swimming.

Smiling Shard is on target to add to his record of 17 wins and 20 placings in 46 starts for $1,116,323.

Winner of the Breeders' Crown Final and Harness Jewels as a 2yr-old and a Yearling Sales race at 3, Smiling Shard was placed at the top level as a 4yr-old last season with a second to Stunin Cullen in the Hunter Cup (3280m) at Melton and a fourth in the Interdominion Final at Alexandra Park behind Smoken Up, Imthemightyquinn and Blacks A Fake.

Dalgety has being doing things differently with his other Cup candidate, Bettor's Strike, in a bid to get him refocused.

"He has looked like winning his last start in the Canterbury Classic and then he has turned off. I am trying to change his thinking," Dalgety said.

Bettor's Strike has been ridden by Shane McCann at the Riccarton stable of Peter and Dawn Williams and popped over pony jumps.

Bettor's Strike won the 2009 Victoria Cup and finished second to Monkey King in the New Zealand Cup that year. He was subsequently close to death after a severe scouring complaint.

Auckland Reactor worked to the satisfaction of co-trainer Mark Purdon at Rolleston yesterday morning.

"I don't envisage any problem when he works for the Racing Integrity Unit in the morning," Purdon said.

Purdon was not hopeful last Wednesday that Auckland Reactor would be able to start in the New Zealand Cup. The entire has been troubled by a cut to the coronet of his right foreleg sustained in the Ashburton Flying Stakes when he lost a plate.

"He worked 2400m in 3.10, the last 800m in 57.4 this morning. It was a solid workout," Purdon said.

"He did feel it [the foot] for the first 500 or 600m but he was OK after that."

The Fiery Ginga, who regained winning form at Wyndham yesterday, will head to Christchurch tomorrow for the NZ Trotting Free-For-All.

"I was expecting a win today. I knew he was spot on after his trial at Forbury Park on Monday," Allan Clark, his East Taieri owner-trainer, said. "If he couldn't beat those today he wouldn't be worth taking to Addington." Trainer Tim Butt and reinsman Anthony Butt combined to win the $A70,000 Newcastle Mile with Raglan and a heat of the Smoken Up Championship with Trojan at Newcastle on Saturday night.

Raglan ran 1.54.9 compared with the race record of 1.52.8 set by Pay Me Christian in 2006. He won by a neck from Mr Feelgood.

Trojan, owned by John Hamilton, of Alexandra, rated 1.58.2 for 2030m (mobile).

The Butt stable has Choise Achiever in the New Zealand Cup tomorrow.

Results from the trials at Methven on Saturday

Qualifying test, pacers, 2400m (first heat): Van West G O'Reilly 1; Faith Philly 2; Signofrain 3. Five started. Ns; 7 1/2L. Time, 3.20.3 (two qualified). Trainers, D and S Breed.

Second heat: Sea Captain K Coutts 1; Danny's Pic 2; Donegal Pipesofpan 3. Four started. 1 3/4L; 8L. Time, 3.22.3 (none qualified).

Qualifying test, trotters, 2400m: Tyron Lochie P O'Reilly 1; Starview Soul 2; Starry Eyed 3. Three started. 5L; 1 1/2L. Time, 3.24.5 (three qualified). Trainers, D and S Breed.

0w pacers, 2400m (first heat): Towney D Johnston 1; Nor West Star 2; Shesa Roman Holme 3. Ten started. 1/2nk; hd. Time, 3.20.4. Trainer, D Johnston.

Second heat: Rhuben R May 1; Jayesbe 2; Franco Hepburn 3.

Nine started. Nk; ns. Time, 3.15.2. Trainer, B Waldron.

Third heat: Micky Blue Eyes R May 1; Sounds Like us 2; Most Happy Dancer 3. Nine started. 1L; 2L. Time, 3.16.5. Trainer, T May.

0w trotters, 2400m (first heat): Mayweather M Hay 1; Go Ado Go 2; Tony Christie 3. Nine started. 2L; 1L. Time, 3.20.4. Trainer, J Hay.

Second heat: Another Love C Middleton 1; Sundon Castleton 2; Zoom By 3. Eight started. Lg nk; 1L. Time, 3.23.1. Trainer, C Middleton.

1w, pacers, 2400m: Storm's Rule R May 1; Kusadasi 2; The Pioneer 3. Seven started. 1/2nk; 1 1/4L. Time, 3.19. Trainer, C Kennedy.

2w pacers, 2400m: False Promise K Coutts 1; Rangi Rule 2; Tarport Spirit 3. Six started. 1 1/4L; 1L. Time, 3.19.8. Trainer, K Coutts.

1w+ pacers, 2400m: Quality Invasion 10 G Archer 1; Brawlinwiththeboys 2 fr 2; Taimate Boyz 10 3. Nine started. 2 1/2L; 1/2L.Time, 3.16.9. Trainer, B Graham.

3w+ pacers, 2400m: Bushfire fr L O'Reilly 1; McKay 10 2; Empire Flame 10 3. Five started. Nk; 1L. Time, 3.11.3. Trainer, L O'Reilly.


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