Racing: Chance for beaten brigade

By Matt Smith

Handicaps point to a changing of the guard on southern country cups' championship.

Canardly Lover is overdue a winning turn, which could come at Roxburgh today. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Canardly Lover is overdue a winning turn, which could come at Roxburgh today. Photo / Otago Daily Times

A start on the two southern country cups winners could help the other Roxburgh Cup runners at the Central Otago meeting today.

Gore Cup winner Jimmy Johnstone and Wairio Cup champion Phantom Grin are on the 10m mark for today's 2700m feature, giving a couple of front-line horses their chance.

Canardly Lover has been less than two lengths off the two winners in both cups to date. The inside draw of one will present a challenge as he could get back on the markers early, but if he steps cleanly, he provides trainer-driver Hamish Hunter with plenty of choices.

Poacher has dropped back in his past two starts, but a front-line draw will give him his chance and - like Canardly Lover - he did not disgrace himself at Addington during NZ Cup Week.

Local favourite Pembrook's Delight has some fierce rivalry in the $10,000 mares feature.

The Geoff and Jude Knight-trained mare was in top form fresh-up at Winton on December 29, running the mile in 1:54.7.

She was equally as impressive at the Roxburgh trials a week earlier, taking 2:41.5 for the 2200m trial. She will also relish not having to travel for this engagement.

However, Flyover drops back from the group three Central Otago Trotting Cup on Wednesday to a smaller field and she has drawn inside Pembrook's Delight.

Before Omakau, she had run third in the Ashburton Cup on Boxing Day and a close-up third behind Major Mark at Addington on December 21.

- Otago Daily Times

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