Turn it up! NZ Cups keeping lustre

Last week my comments on the Melbourne Cup losing some its lustre drew a mix of feedback. Some wholeheartedly agreed and others staunchly defended the great race.

Your responses were appreciated and it was great to see what passion that Melbourne Cup stirs in racing fans.

Do not expect me to deliver the same kind of opinions about this week's New Zealand Trotting Cup or the New Zealand Cup Carnival. It has been simply brilliant and has lost absolutely none of its shine. The horses, the racing, the crowds and the atmosphere have been marvellous.

Only the harshest of critics could suggest it has not been another roaring success.

The performance of the week so far has to go to Te Akau Shark in the Coupland's Mile.

Wow, what a win.

He broke his rivals' hearts, broke the clock and sealed his status as the next big thing in New Zealand thoroughbred racing.

His part-owner, league star Paul Gallen, was on track to witness the incredible victory.

Gallen was extremely popular with the Riccarton crowd and looked happy to stop for photos and chats with fans.

What a coup for New Zealand racing that he is involved with the horse.

And I cannot help but think that we have got one over Australia.

There are hundreds of horses in Sydney Gallen could have been set up with. But it took some foresight from New Zealand to introduce him to racing and the move is now looking like a brilliant one.

The performance of the week, so far, in the standardbred code came with Ultimate Sniper's epic Sires Stakes final win. He was three-wide and then parked outside the leader and showed toughness beyond his limited experience.

Have Faith In Me, Auckland Reactor, Lazarus and Ultimate Sniper's big brother, Ultimate Machete, have all produced huge wins in that race in recent years.

No3 on my list of highlights so far would be the Stewards Stakes win of Prince Oz.

What an incredible story.

He came to Neill Ridley as a battling one-win horse out of a stable known for getting big-race success.

Ridley and rider Terry Moseley have transformed Prince Oz in to a sprinting star. The rousing reception they got in the Riccarton birdcage was a really nice moment.

There may be even faster horses that have raced and are still to race during this carnival. But few produce wins that match the good feeling around Prince Oz's story.

New Zealand Cup day resulted in a freakish accomplishment from Rolleston trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Their horses were in nine races and won eight, topped by the win of Thefixer in the New Zealand Trotting Cup.

That is history, right in front of our eyes.

If there are better trainers anywhere else in the world, I would love to see the proof..

It must be incredibly frustrating to other trainers, owners and drivers, who are out to win as well.

The fact that Purdon and Rasmussen can produce these results in the most highly competitive of days only makes their achievements even more incredible.

Unfortunately, haters are going to hate, as the kids say. But, gee, those kind of comments are getting really old and boring.

Time would be better spent figuring out how to put their horses in to multis to win a bit of money.

The surest bet of all is that All Stars stable will keep winning races today and at the next carnival and the one after that.

Enjoy the rest of the cup carnival.

Happy trails.

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