By Garrick Knight
It’s been a dream start in horse ownership for the group of lads behind Lets Hustle, one of the more improved horses in Canterbury at present.
Training on Woodend Beach with Regan Todd has worked the oracle with the son of Bettor’s Delight, who has won three races and over $18,000 since a new syndicate was formed to lease part of him back in August.
“For a lot of them it’s their first horse, so they think it’s pretty easy this game,” Todd told HRNZ.
“They’ve had bloody good time with him and he’s been a bit of a surprise package, really.”
Their ‘equine ATM’ has a chance of an even bigger pay day when he contests the last race at Addington tonight – he’s a chance of taking home a $10,000 bonus.
Addington’s new Met Mega Series promotion has seen all horses earn points for good performances at the track between August 16 and this week’s final meeting.
The winning owners get $10,000 while there are also prizes of $4,000, $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 for those that run second through fifth.
Heading in to tonight, Lets Hustle is third, just seven points off leader Scorcha, who was ineligible for any race tonight and thus won’t be earning any points.
A second place would cause a tie and earn the connections of both horses $7,000, while a win would bring home the max payout for the Lets Hustle syndicate.
While he strikes a hard field, Lets Hustle has drawn one on the second line over the sprint trip and Todd sees that as playing to the horse’s strengths.
“He’s best when following so we just need thing to open up for him and he’ll boom home.
“The horse in front of us (Givemewhatineed) has got the ability, it just depends if he behaves himself. He has galloped out before so we’ll need a bit of luck there.”
One thing’s for sure, the big group of owners will be there at Addington enjoying the hospitality and having a wager.
In that regard, the new series has been an excellent move by Addington officials.
“They love it, they absolutely love it.
“And because of this series I have raced the horse at Addington more than I ever would.
“He’s a horse that you’d probably take to Timaru and Oamaru, but he’s thrived on the racing at Addington.
“Now we’re in a position where the top two horses have raced themselves out of it and we have a chance of getting a big bonus.”
Lets Hustle was sent to Todd on a hope and a prayer by good friend Mark Jones after winning one of 32 starts, but placing 12 times.
“He sort-of showed up here one day and I thought it might be a good one for the lads.
“He was meant to be sold to Aussie but the money never arrived so the breeder, Steve O’Brien, bought Mark out and sent him to us on the beach.
“Two boys that work for me took shares and then another syndicate of mates joined in as well.
“They’ve got the bug because they’ve bred one this year as well; by Buy Kiwi Made.”
Todd cites Lets Hustle the best of his four chances on the night, but says he is optimistic that a few of the others can place as well.
“That Alexander Guy let us down at Methven but it’s not a very good field this week.
“Koromiko Eyre is in the same race. He’s having one start for us before heading south to his new owner, Matt Saunders.
“He would get the Met Multipler Bonus ($7,000) if he won.
“And little Renezmae is going around in a winnable race but has drawn the outside.
“She’s been in the pool for a week with a stone bruise but otherwise I’m really happy with her.”