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The Addington wicket is firm with no grass cover and there looks to be a bit of turn out there, so everyone should be pretty happy.
That is the pitch report before today’s meeting which has been branded as harness racing’s take on cricket’s twenty20 concept.
Short-course racing with short gaps between races, as well as bells, whistles and flashing lights to keep the attention of the easily distracted modern sporting fan.
The concept for today’s meeting — branded as Fast10 harness racing — is the brainchild of Canterbury owners Glenn Hames and Tony Russell.
The pair believe the Fast10 concept will “reignite passion and interest in the industry while creating a fun and exciting event to appeal to new customers”.
Part of the hope to achieve that is by the structure of today’s fields.
Ten horses will start in all mobile races with six horses on the front line and four on the back.
That configuration is set to make backing a winner easier than at regular meetings.
The reduced field size should mean fewer horses to choose from and less chance of interference and bad luck.
Fast 10 will offer on-course punters a constant stream of entertainment and information to complement the action on track and keep punters engaged.
Today’s meeting will be underpinned by several logistical procedures.
Trainers and drivers will need to be on their toes to make sure horses are on the track 10 minutes before each race.
There will be little down time and almost no time for scope for inquiries if the meeting is to run to time.
Those wanting to keep pace with today’s quickfire action may want some help in finding a winner.
Here are my thoughts. —
Race 1: Zigzagzoo (4)
Although this 3yr-old has let win punters down so far this term, he has proven to be far more consistent and well mannered than his rivals. A safe play to start the day.
Race 2: Robyns Major (4)
Mile races at Addington are generally a disaster unless your horse has drawn barriers 1 or 2, The horses drawn there in this race do not appeal, so go wider with caution.
Race 3: Michelle (1)
She has botched things badly in her past two, but the strength of the field sees her rise to the top. Needs to trot, but barrier 1 and Ricky May in the sulky major pluses.
Race 4: William Wallace (1)
Able to compete with the country’s best 2yr-olds last season. He has not had a trial or workout before his return, but still rates on top.
Race 5: The Last One (2)
Absolutely bolted in on debut at Addington and should do the same again today.
Race 6: Luella (8)
Main rival Delma Craze beat her in a recent trial, but I thought her effort was not inferior and she has drawn to turn the tables on her today.
Race 7: Heavyweight Hero (5)
Impressed when resuming at Methven and looked like he would improve markedly from the run. Pres The Belle, back from the Interdominions, is his main opposition, ahead of Globe Trekker.
Race 8: Tango Tara (6)
Classy horse who is on a one-way mission to the top grade. Although he must overcome a tough draw, he is too classy not to put on top.
Race 9: Ranger Bomb (1)
Led and won in a smart time last time out and is poised to do that again after drawing barrier 1. Navagio is his biggest threat.
Race 10: Sugar Loaf (2)
Really talented filly who is the clear top pick in the last.