By Jonny Turner
How keen Waikouaiti mare Kiwi Crusher is to race in the feature trot at Wingatui today could decide her winning chances.
The Amber Hoffman trained squaregaiter comes in to the 2200m event after going a big race after pulling hard in her last start at Forbury Park.
Kiwi Crusher brushed the inside of her sulky wheels with her hooves when fighting on for third behind Valley Star and Da Moon’s Mission.
Hoffman has gone to extra lengths ahead of today’s race to make sure the same doesn’t happen again today in race 4.
“It better not happen again because I have gone and bought her a new cart,” the trainer said.
“It had happened before and I didn’t want her doing it again, so I got an extra long sulky.”
Hoffman hopes Kiwi Crusher’s new wheels will help her mare relax, but is not convinced they will be an instant fix for the mare’s over racing.
“She was very fired up for a week after her last start, but she seems to have settled down now and her work has been good.”
“I just hope she will settle and doesn’t go back to over-racing.”
Kiwi Crusher starts from the 15m back mark in today’s 2200m feature alongside promising 4yr-old Andy Hall.
The trotter will be driven by junior reinsman Mark Hurrell, who has recently started working for Hoffman.
Andy Hall was an impressive winner of his first two starts before galloping out of his last outing at Wyndham.
The Nathan Williamson trained trotter has won and run fifth in two workouts since then.
Hoffman also starts the consistent Motoring Major in today’s feature pace.
The 5yr-old comes in to the highly competitive 2200m mobile after running third and fifth in his two starts last month’s Waikouaiti meeting.
Hurrell will try to adopt different tactics today.
“He was up on the pace in both of his starts at Waikouaiti,” Hoffman said.
“We are going to try to drive him a bit quieter at Wingatui.”
“He sprinted up really well in his work on the beach this week, so he should go a good race.”
Hoffman has a big team of three horses in race 5.
To Ri Caitlin has the best draw of Hoffman’s trio in barrier 5.
The 5yr-old will be having her first start for the Waikouaiti trainer today.
“She is quite a nice horse and I quite like her.”
“Her work has been quite good since she arrived, so I would expect her to go a pretty good race.”
Gomeo Romeo has had one start for Hoffman and disappointed at Forbury Park, earlier this month.
The trainer is hoping for better when the 6yr-old starts from barrier 7 today.
“His work has been good enough, but he is better suited to standing starts and there are not a lot of them around at the moment.”
“He was very disappointing at Forbury, so we are hoping for much better.”
Rakagem has been relegated to being the outsider among Hoffman’s three starters after drawing the outside of the front line in barrier 9.
Hoffman’s trio clash with leading contenders Black Ops, Allaboutjoy and Wolf West.