Stratford trainer Steve Gulliver admits he doesn't know what result to expect from his talented galloper Shadow Fox in the Carters Ashhurst Pohangina Cup at Awapuni today.

"He's got all the ability in the world, but he keeps holding his breath," Gulliver said. "He's done it in all his last five starts and he even does it at home when I'm working him. You can't gallop him without him holding his breath. I thought he must be hurting so I got the Waikato vet down and he went right through him and couldn't find anything."

Despite his bad habit, Shadow Fox has won seven of his 23 starts and been placed on eight occasions, including a third behind Chambord in the Listed Levin Stakes (1200m) at Otaki four starts ago. He had won the previous start, at Awapuni, over 1200 metres when setting the pace with Johnathan Parkes aboard.

"That's the last time Johnathan was aboard and he's back on him on Friday so I hope he can get him through it," Gulliver said.


● Lisa Latta has decided against another trip to Ellerslie with Five To Midnight before his bid on the Gr.1 Auckland Cup next month.

Five To Midnight's last two runs have been at Ellerslie, resulting in a third to Zacada in the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) on New Year's Day and an unlucky second behind Charles Road in the Gr.3 City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) on Karaka Million evening.

The Awapuni trainer plans to start him in the Kaimai Stakes (2000m) at Matamata on February 24.

"I didn't want another long trip to Auckland with him," Latta said.

- NZ Racing Desk