A perfect barrier draw at Cambridge on Friday is going to have to do as consolation for trainer Stephen Doody.

Doody is still shaking his head over the bad luck that stopped stable star Te Kawau being a major player in the finish to last Thursday's Auckland Cup.

The Central Districts' best pacer was denied room late and was hard held by driver Brent Mangos as they crossed the line fifth, just in behind winner Have Faith In Me.

The performance came only a week after the five-year-old downed Hughie Green in the Futurity at Cambridge, confirming he was back to his best after a substandard South Island campaign. "I was thrilled with how we went last week but we just had no luck in the straight," said Doody.


"Brent came back in after the race and said you wouldn't want to know what he could have done had he got a gap."

But at least Doody knows Te Kawau is up to the best open class horses and he gets a chance to profit from that after drawing the ace in the $60,000 Flying Mile.

He showed enough gate speed to cross Tiger Tara in the Futurity and with Cambridge's tight mile start, Te Kawau may even have enough speed to hold the lead.

"That could be the case, he led in the Jewels last season and only Sky Major could beat him," said Doody.

I was thrilled with how we went last week but we just had no luck in the straight.Stephen Doody


"So he has that option this week but as he showed in the Futurity, he can kick pretty hard from the trail."

Te Kawau has fewer options heading forward than many of his rivals as Doody thinks he is too finicky for an Australian campaign yet and with races like the Taylor Mile and Messenger reverting to being four-year-old only, they are not on the radar.

"But if he goes well this week we will send him down to Blenheim for the Pelorus next week.

"Then maybe the Easter Cup will be the big aim. A lot of stuff went wrong last time he was down south but he is right back to it now.

"He has been kicking and bucking around and that is always a good sign."

The Flying Mile has drawn a great field, with Jewels winners Sky Major (barrier two), Franco Nelson (four) and The Orange Agent (five) on the front line, the latter likely to start favourite.

But stablemates Fight For Glory (nine) and Smolda (14) have not been so lucky, drawing the second line.

Earlier in the night, One Over Da Moon has got the ace draw in the 1700m trotters' sprint, while Speeding Spur will have to overcome the outside draw.