Racing: Aussie star favourite for Cup

By Michael Guerin

Themightyquinn and driver Gary Hall. Picture / Dean Purcell
Themightyquinn and driver Gary Hall. Picture / Dean Purcell

Australian pacing hero I'm Themightyquinn has opened favourite in the first market for the New Zealand Trotting Cup.

But Kiwis won't be able to bet on the $700,000 Addington thriller on November 11 yet unless they have an overseas account.

I'm Themightyquinn, a three-time Inter Dominion and two-time Auckland Cup winner, is one of five Australian-trained entries for the Cup, and one of 37 overall.

He was opened a $4 favourite for the Cup by Australian bookmakers Tatts, with three-time defending champion Terror To Love surprisingly long at $6.50.

The New Zealand TAB have yet to open a market but one is expected before the weekend.

I'm Themightyquinn was nominated for the Cup last season and got close to favouritism before being injured in October and missing the race. And while trainer Gary Hall is adamant the Cup is his next main target, taking $4 for a horse who is in Western Australia is plain silly, no matter how great he is.

He is joined by group one winners For A Reason and Abettorpunt, Inter Dominion runner-up Seel N Print and most surprisingly Maximan, who has won both his starts in Australia but is best known here for winning the West Coast bonus last December.

Terror To Love heads the local nominations alongside arch rival Christen Me, Adore Me, Smolda, Pembrook Benny and Franco Nelson.

Last season's Derby winners Tiger Tara and Locharburn are also nominated but unlikely to start.

Christen Me was to have opened his Cup campaign at Rangiora on Sunday but will have to wait until early next month after scaring his opponents away. He will instead have a workout at Rangiora on Monday.

His stablemate Bit Of A Legend will make a shock appearance on Sunday though, but in Australia.

He has been largely unsighted since a luckless Perth campaign last year but heads to a heat of the four-year-old Breeders Crown at Melton on Sunday after impressing trainer Cran Dalgety in his recent work.

That gives Bit Of A Legend a shot at becoming a rare three-time winner of the Breeders Crown after he took out his two and three-year-old divisions in the past two seasons.

One of his key rivals who was expected to be on the plane with him last night did not make the trip though, with in-form northern pacer Cyamach forced out of the series.

Co-trainer Steve Telfer was left with no option but to send the winter star to the paddock after he developed a temperature on Tuesday. "It is a real shame because the series stacked up nicely for him," said Telfer.

The north will have a four-year-old series rep though, with Mac Tiger now also in Melton after some solid Alexandra Park form.

- NZ Herald

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