By Jonny Turner
Exciting 3yr-old Heroes Square will face his toughest test after drawing wide in tonight’s group 2 Flying Stakes at Addington.
The Robert Dunn trained pacer has announced himself a serious New Zealand Derby contender with three highly impressive wins in his first three starts.
Heroes Square will almost certainly have to call on all of his class if he is to keep his unbeaten record intact in tonight’S 1980m feature.
Drawing the outside of the front line in barrier 9 means the 3yr-old and driver Tim Williams have a huge task in front of them.
“It is going to be very tough for him from that draw,” Dunn said.
“Tim will have to go back with him and try to get in to it.”
Williams will fill in for Dunn’s son John, who was among a number of leading drivers stood down yesterday as a precautionary measure in response to the COVID19 pandemic.
The group, which includes Mark Purdon and Zac Butcher, have been excluded from racing until Tuesday because they have returned from Australia recently.
Heroes Square will be in good company on the outside of the mobile arm, with leading 3yr-old Copy That starting alongside him.
The Ray Green trained pacer will start from barrier 8 for new driver Blair Orange.
While there are some doubts over whether Heroes Square can give his main rivals a head start from his wide draw, there is no doubting the horse’s ability.
And though the Art Major pacer has only burst on to the 3yr-old pacing scene recently, his trainer has know of his class for some time.
“We have always thought a lot of him, but he had joint problem as a 2yr-old.”
“We sent up to Matamata for a scintigraphy test and they found a wee problem in a fetlock.”
“He is a very nice horse and I think he will measure up with the best 3yr-olds.”
“Especially on his last win, it was very impressive.”
Heroes Square beat Flying Stakes rivals Minstrel, Skippys Delight and Burnham Boy in his brilliant last start win in the Johnny Globe Classic at Addington last week.
The pacer steps up to race more proven 3yr-olds when clashing with both Copy That and One Change, who has the massive advantage of drawing barrier 1.
The Dunn stable also start Tyron’s Bit Of Lemon from barrier 2 with Gavin Smith in the sulky.
The pacer should get every opportunity is his first test against the country’s top 3yr-olds from his handy draw.
“It was a good win last time at Invercargill and he is working really well,” Dunn said.
“He is a horse that loves getting out there and running those really strong sectionals.”
Dunn and Williams will also combine with Henry Hubert in tonight’s Superstars Championship.
The 5yr-old’s brilliant fresh up win in the Northern Southland Cup shows he has back at the top of his game following a short spell.
However, Henry Hubert may not get the chance to show that tonight’s 1980m feature as he starts from barrier 1 on the second line.
“He is really well and working really well, but it is a disastrous draw for him, really,” Dunn said.
The conditions for the Superstars Championship also put leading contenders Another Masterpiece and Triple Eight in tricky starting spots in barriers 8 and 9, respectively.