Racing: Court sets sights on third NZ Cup

By Michael Guerin

Terror To Love. Photo / Christine Cornege
Terror To Love. Photo / Christine Cornege

New Zealand's best pacer could be about to get a world-class stablemate as he starts his countdown to New Zealand Cup history.

Terror To Love has thrilled trainer Graham Court in his new preparation, one aimed at a third New Zealand Cup on November 12.

Only two horses have won the Cup three times - Indianapolis and False Step - and if Terror To Love can become the third he will forever sit among the greats of New Zealand harness racing.

With that in mind and the Cup being the sole goal for owner Terry McDonald, Court says it is all that really matters this season.

"We would love to win a big race in Aussie like the Miracle Mile but if we win the Cup for the third time everything else is a bonus," says Court.

Terror To Love has added some muscle to a frame that already resembles an equine Sonny Bill Williams and will resume at Addington on September 27. "He will follow the same programme as last season so we will have three or four starts before the Cup."

Addington bosses have started receiving nominations for the Cup and the first one they took was from three-time Interdominion hero I'm Themightyquinn.

Add the freakish Christen Me and somewhat forgotten Smolda and the TAB bookies have some serious head-scratching to do before the first markets open in about two weeks.

Court's son and former training partner Paul could be back in Christchurch by Cup time, lured back into the family business after a brief stint in Canada.

He could be bringing some serious horsepower with him in the shape of Johny Rock, one of the better 3-year-old pacers in North America.

The Courts are putting together a deal to buy him before he contests the famous Little Brown Jug series and then bring him to New Zealand for an open class career.

"He is a 1:48.6 miler and will do a super job if we can get him down home, so here's hoping," said Paul Court from Canada.

"We are syndicating him with 25 shares, so people who couldn't usually afford to get into a horse like him have a chance to experience racing a really top horse."

With Terror To Love chasing a spot among the legends and one of the best 3-year-olds in the world earmarked for the stable, the Courts would seem to have more than enough on their plate.

However, Graham is also stepping up the stud activities at Pinelea Farm, including some bonuses for those sending mares to millionaire pacer Stunin Cullen.

"He has got 60 mares already and we want to reward broodmare owners with something different," said Court.

"So anybody who gets a filly foal gets the option to return to him the following season at half-price. And we will also have a $10,000 bonus for the first filly and first colt by him to win totalisator 2-year-old races."

- NZ Herald

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