Racing: I'm Themightyquinn to visit NZ

By Michael Guerin

Number 8 Themightyquinn, driver Gary Hall. Photo / Dean Purcell
Number 8 Themightyquinn, driver Gary Hall. Photo / Dean Purcell

Addington has fired the first shots in the battle for prime position in harness racing's new landscape.

And they may have hit their first target.

With the huge news out of Australia this week that the Miracle Mile and Victoria Cup are moving to after Christmas from next year and the Inter Dominion is heading to Perth, the feature-race harness calendar now looks very lopsided.

So Addington bosses need to keep the New Zealand Cup attractive to Australian trainers in the hope they get their horses up and running in the spring, rather than wait till summer and aim solely at the rich January-March window.

The first step toward that goal is the boosting of this year's New Zealand Cup on November 11 to $700,000, an increase in stake of $50,000.

With the New Zealand dollar still relatively strong against the Australian that will at least keep the Cup on the radar of Australian trainers, which isn't easy considering their poor record in the race.

A move to $750,000 next season makes sense when the Addington thriller possibly becomes the centrepiece of the pre-Christmas season.

But already the Cup has attracted the attention of Gary Hall, the trainer of I'm Themightyquinn.

The amazing pacer moved to within around A$7300 of becoming the richest-ever Southern Hemisphere standardbred with his win in Brisbane on Saturday night and Hall says he will be nominated for the NZ Cup.

"I think as he has got older he over-races less and tries harder and the NZ Cup suits him more now than it used to," says Hall.

"So we will nominate him and if he comes back from a short spell well I can't see any reason he won't be there."

Having I'm Themightyquinn by far the richest pacer ever in this part of the world, taking on Terror To Love as he attempts to become the first horse to win four New Zealand Cups would be a huge boost for Addington officials.

They will already be on a high as they have also boosted the stake for the Dominion Handicap to $250,000 and raised the minimum stake at Addington by 40 per cent, from $5000 to $7000.

Stakes for C0 and C1 have also risen as Addington follows Alexandra Park by injecting significantly more money into their lower-grade races where it will have the best trickle-down effect.

Meanwhile, tonight's Cambridge meeting could be a rare springboard to Australian riches for two hot favourites.

Three-year-old filly Zeta Bromac should be way too good for her rivals in the first leg of Pick6 where a victory would increase her chances of heading to next month's Breeders Crown.

The same applies to talented southern juvenile pacer Field Marshall in race five, his last here before crossing the Tasman chasing a place in his A$312,000 ABC final.

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