By Jonny Turner
Heavyweight Hero goes into Sunday’s Trotters’ Green Mile at Methven with significant reach advantage over his rivals.
The race looks tailormade for the Bob Butt trained seven-year-old considering he has a brilliant record on grass and is a group 1 winner over a sprint trip.
The obvious hurdle for the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All winner is his barrier 9 drawn.
Butt goes into Trotters’ Green Mile hopeful his horse can overcome the outside of the front row and with no plans to use the alley as an excuse for a sub-par performance.
“With him, it doesn’t really matter where he is in the run too much.”
“He can go forward and he can also come from the back.”
“I wouldn’t like to use it as an excuse.”
“We will just see what happens, but ideally it would be good to stay in front of Majestic Lavros and the better ones.”
Heavyweight Hero comes into Sunday’s race after a creditable, but well-beaten fourth in Sundees Son’s Dominion.
The trotter looked to come to the end of his run a little earlier than expected after enjoying a nice trip on the markers.
“When Sundees Son came around he really grabbed the bit, but then at the 300m he couldn’t go with him,” Butt said.
“He went a New Zealand record on the Tuesday and that might have just flattened him a little bit.”
“It is his first time having a full prep against the good ones.”
Majestic Lavros and Pres The Belle will both be out to turn the tables on Heavyweight Hero in the Trotters’ Green Mile after he beat them home in the Dominion.
Both bring positive signs into the race.
Majestic Lavros pulled up with a foot problem, which trainer Mark Jones thought caused him to trot roughly in his disappointing ninth placing in the Dominion.
With the issue behind him, the trotter is expected to hit out better on Sunday.
Pres The Belle looks to be rising back towards her best form going by her recent workout effort at Rangiora.
The 12th placegetter in the Dominion sped her last 800m in a sharp 56.4sec to win nicely, though in a sedate overall time.
Pres The Belle’s stablemates Classie Brigade and Henry Hubert give trainer Robert Dunn a huge hand in the Pacers’ Green Mile at Methven on Sunday.
Classie Brigade is set to start the red hot favourite in the race as he drops back in class after running fourth in Spankem’s New Zealand Free-For-all.
The Mark Jones trained Stylish Memphis looks the main threat to the Dunn pair.
Though the four-year-old has not been sighted publicly since her third behind Vintage Cheddar on Show Day at Addington Jones is confident his mare is fit enough to win.
“It would have been good to get a trial into her, but she did have two hard races during Cup Week.”
“She will probably go in a run short, but in saying that beside Classie Brigade she is definitely a winning chance.”
Classie Brigade and Henry Hubert have also not had a trial or workout since running on Show Day, either.
William Wallace goes into the Pacers’ Green Mile with a race fitness edge over the three favourites following his recent win in the Geraldine Cup.