Racing: Aussie visitor gets heavyweight help from multi winning Kiwi mate

By Michael Guerin

Tony Herlihy.
Tony Herlihy.

Australian visitor My Kiwi Mate has some heavyweight local help for tomorrow night's $100,000 Messenger at Alexandra Park.

The ironically-named raider will be teaming up with five-time Messenger-winning driver Tony Herlihy for the group one.

Herlihy takes over from usual driver Jodi Quinlan for the 2700m.

My Kiwi Mate, who was trained in New Zealand by Brian Hughes before being sold last season, produced one of the eyecatching runs in last Friday's Taylor Mile and has emerged as one of the serious threats to hot favourite Field Marshal tomorrow.

"He looks a good, tough pacer so the 2700m shouldn't bother him," said Herlihy.

Herlihy has won the Messenger a record five times, dating back to all-time greats Christopher Vance (1991) and Chokin (1993) but he hasn't won it since training and driving Gotta Go Cullen to victory in 2008.

After coming from near last to win the Taylor Mile, Field Marshal has opened a $1.40 chance to double up tomorrow against basically the same opposition.

But he isn't even close to being the hottest group one favourite tomorrow night, with Monbet incredibly $1.14 in the fixed odds market for the $150,000 Canam Rowe Cup.

That is a record low price, with Lyell Creek paying $1.15 on the tote when he won the Rowe Cup in 2001.

Monbet's stablemate Quite A Moment has been scratched from the race, meaning he faces just 11 rivals.

Spanish Armada, another who smashed her opponents in a corresponding race last Friday has opened at $1.45 for the Sires' Stakes Championship but the battle for favouritism is more even in the $80,000 Breckon Farms Trotting Derby.

Marcoola is $2.20 to complete a Derby double but after her huge recovery for fourth last Friday night, High Gait is rated a $2.50 chance to down him.

? Reports on injured trotting star Speeding Spur are more positive.

Trainers John and Josh Dickie were resigned to losing him for the season after he suffered a leg problem in last Friday's Anzac Cup.

But that swelling has improved and a scan today will reveal whether the four-year-old could still potentially contest his division of the Jewels at Cambridge on June 4.

"Things look a little better so we haven't given up on the Jewels all together," says Josh Dickie.

The first Jewels markets opened yesterday, with Miracle Mile placegetter Arms Of An Angel rated a $1.45 chance to become the first Australian-trained winner of a Jewels.

She is a hot favourite for the four-year-old mare's division. The three-year-old male pacing market was the other opened yesterday, with Chase The Dream a $2.50 favourite.

- NZ Herald

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