By Jonny Turner
Burlington put a frustrating run behind him when speeding to victory at Addington on Friday night.
Driver Stephen McNally took control of race 5, spearing the five-year-old to an early lead before his charge unleashed a fast last 800m to win.
The sight of Burlington rolling along in the lead would have come as a welcome change for his group of owners.
The Brent White trained five-year-old got a long way out of his ground in the Kaikoura Sales Series Aged Pace and was trapped three-wide for the entirety of his assignment on New Zealand Cup Day when clashing with Bad To The Bone.
Burlington was back up on the speed on Friday night and did not waste the opportunity to show his true class.
“It wasn’t really our week Cup Week, but you take it on the chin and move on,” White said.
“In saying that I don’t think he was 110% then either.”
“But he has come back to it and we will take that one.”
Burlington could start again at Addington next weekend, but his plans beyond then are unknown.
“He could go to the Fast10 meeting at Addington next week because there is a race there for him.”
“He was 71 (rating points) going into tonight, so he is getting pretty hard to place.”
“He is basically open class now.”
“He has won seven of his 27 starts, so I have probably done a pretty good job of placing him, but there are definitely no easy options for him now.”
White lines Rogie Falls up at Addington on Saturday and Better’s Tart and One Apollo at Methven on Sunday.
One Apollo returns to grass track racing for the first time since winning the Bank’s Peninsula Trotting Cup when stepping out in the Trotters’ Green Mile with driver Ricky May.
The five-year-old has had an unusual buildup for the race after circumstances led to him taking on maiden pacers at the trials in his final hit-out.
Despite the lack of trotting opposition, the heat winner dashed home in 26.2sec (400m) and White was pleased with his horse’s effort.
“Ricky just let him mooch around at the back of the field.”
“He ran home in 56sec (last 800m) and Ricky was happy enough and I was happy enough.”
“And has trained well this week.”
One Apollo will start from barrier 7 in Sunday’s feature, with two of his key rivals in Pres The Belle (8) and Heavyweight Hero (9) outside him.
“Heavyweight Hero is the horse to beat and Pres The Belle has trialled up well,” White said.
“But to be fair he has beaten them all before – and he has beaten most of them on the grit too.”
“Cup Week wasn’t our best week, but you’ve got to move on.”
“He will go a good honest race.”
One Apollo was rated the $4.50 equal second favourite with both Pres The Belle and Majestic Lavros when fixed odds betting for the Trotters’ Green Mile opened.
Heavyweight Hero was installed the $2.50 race favourite.