Tomorrow might be tiny trotter’s big day

Motu Top Mach, winning here with Dexter Dunn at Ascot Park in May, is one of two good chances for...
Motu Top Mach, winning here with Dexter Dunn at Ascot Park in May, is one of two good chances for trainer Graeme Anderson in race 7 at Forbury Park tomorrow. Photo: Wild Range Photography
Could tomorrow be the day pint-sized trotter Pat The Monkey finally breaks his maiden?

The consistent trotter will attempt to cap a string of eight consecutive top-four placings in race 1 on his home track.

Few could deny the Eian Lamb-trained squaregaiter deserves a maiden victory.

But despite his brilliantly consistent form, just as many could be forgiven for wondering at times if it will ever eventually come.

Pat The Monkey restored some faith when running Danielle Marie to a head margin in one of his best career runs at Gore last weekend.

Eian Lamb
Eian Lamb
That effort showed his trainer he was continuing to improve as he approached his 20th start.

"He has been unlucky a couple of times. He just can’t finish it off, but I think he is still on the improve," Lamb said. 

"His run on Sunday down at Gore showed he has strengthened up a bit, because he came from the back.

"I don’t think it’s a matter of if he wins one, it’s a matter of when."

The bright side of Pat The Monkey putting in consistent but winless efforts was he had not risen up the trotting grades too quickly, Lamb said.

"Under the current handicapping system it would not have done him much good to get up into the next grade, but I think he is ready for it.

"I thought before that a win could be the end of him, but he is just about ready for it now."

A win tomorrow or during the rest of his career could be considered a bonus. The tiny  trotter was considered a cast-off before joining Lamb’s stable, he said.

Lamb’s daughter, Natalie Love, races the horse as part of the Dudstown Syndicate.

Bill McHugh, of Maheno, also races the trotter.

"No-one wanted this guy because he was too small. Even though he is small, he tries hard.

"My daughter said, can you get us a horse to race, and I saw Bill at the Oamaru races one day and that is how we got on to him."

Ricky May will drive Pat The Monkey tomorrow. His regular pilot, John Morrison, will drive one of his main rivals, Majestic De Fence.

The trotter has looked sharp in winning two Ashburton workouts before his return to the races from a spell.

Superfast Ninja should also give Pat The Monkey a stern challenge.

The horse has also been in consistent form recently and looks close to a maiden win.

Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderson holds a strong hand in race 7, tomorrow’s feature pace, with impressive last-start Forbury Park winner Bettor Sensation and unlucky last-start fourth placegetter Motu Top Mach in the event.

Neither horse could have done much more to impress onlookers in their latest starts.

Bettor Sensation put in a massive run to win after botching the start and catching the field in another 2700m event last month.

Motu Top Mach flew home from a hopeless position in his first standing-start attempt at Gore last month.

Tomorrow’s feature trot, race 5, is a wide-open contest.

Backmarkers Pyramid Magic and Red Hot Poker have strong winning claims, as do trainer Noel Taylor’s pair, Give Me Strength and Breenys Cullen.

Dusky Eyre is a good winning chance and should control the race in the lead from his front-line draw. 

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