Racing: Lemond looks a safer option

By Michael Guerin

Lemond driven by Maurice McKendry at Alexandra Park. Photo / Greg Bowker
Lemond driven by Maurice McKendry at Alexandra Park. Photo / Greg Bowker

Sean McCaffrey has no doubt who his best horse is in the main trot at Cambridge but he isn't sure Yagunnakissmeornot is his best chance.

The once exciting local mare has been a shadow of her former self for the last year, having not won for 10 starts after ending 2015 with five wins on end at Alexandra Park.

Back then she looked a potential serious player in open class but now co-trainer McCaffrey is scratching his head. "We can't work out what has gone wrong with her," he admits heading into race five tonight.

"It isn't ability because at her best she just kept on running like the good stock of Love You do.

"We have tested her for all sorts of things and we found a gut issue recently which we have worked on.

"But will that solve her form issues? Tell the punters I really couldn't say.

"We will try and drive her quietly this week and have one run at them but I am not going in confident."

McCaffrey and training partner Ross Paynter also have Lemond in the race and suggest he could be the better chance, even though he hasn't been well treated by the discretionary handicaps.

"He was a bit unlucky at Alexandra Park last start but I am still not happy about his handicap."

While McCaffrey rates Lemond a safer option than Yagunnakissmeornot, he says South Island veteran Valmagne, who is staying at his stables, is at least as good a chance as both.

"He is a tough old horse who keeps on trucking so if they go hard he could beat both of ours."

On a night with few stars another local adding at least a touch of group one class is Prime Power, who was heavily backed in the open-class trot last week but galloped early.

If he behaves tonight the small field and his standing start speed brings him into play even from a 50m handicap. While McCaffrey isn't bursting with confidence about his trotters, he rates Lambros a huge chance in race six.

"If he can hold up from the ace early, and I think he can, then this is a good race for him."

While the northern harness racing scene has a more relaxed feel about it in coming weeks, two of New Zealand's age group stars return at Menangle tomorrow.

Waikiki Beach impressed at the Pukekohe workouts last weekend so should continue his incredible strike rate. But unbeaten filly Partyon could potentially be vulnerable fresh-up against some handy 3-year-old fillies.

- NZ Herald

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