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The Dominator has been in a happy place recently and that spells unhappy news for his opposition at Oamaru on Sunday.
The 6yr-old goes in to the feature trot on Kurow Cup day after unleashing a brilliant 26.6sec final 400m at the Ashburton workouts on Tuesday.
That blazing final sectional to round off a sedate 3:14.5 overall time for 2400m, was the latest showing in what looks to be the start of a bright campaign for The Dominator.
The trotter has returned to racing with the kind of attitude that will allow him to capitalise on the potential he has shown in the past.
And that is something trainer Donna Williamson hopes will continue.
“He seems very bright and happy and on form at the moment,” the trainer said.
“He is a lot happier and he seems to be doing things right – we are crossing our fingers, a wee bit, that he keeps that up.”
“But even in his work at home at the moment he has worked it out.”
Sunday’s 2600m handicap could set up as a tactical battle between the drivers of Anothersuperstar and The Dominator.
Step and run tactics have seen Anothersuperstar cash in in her past two starts in lesser company at Forbury Park and Gore.
Driver Matthew Williamson will almost certainly employ the same free-wheeling strategy on the Ricky Allen trained veteran, again.
That scenario could be set up a stern test for the Dominator, who starts from the 35m mark for driver Craig Thornley.
Another veteran, 12yr-old Trick Star, looks one of the toughest horses for The Dominator to beat.
The pair filled the quinella in their last clash, when The Dominator won at Addington, last month.
Trick Star gets a 25m head start on his main rival, after effectively meeting The Dominator off level marks from behind the mobile at Addington.
Southland pacer Franco Santino looks to have a fitness edge on his main opposition going in to Sunday’s Kurow Cup.
The Nathan Williamson trained 5yr-old has had the most recent racing of the three class horses of the 2600m handicap, who will start from the 10m back mark.
Franco Santino won a Wyndham workout, this week, in preparation for his Kurow Cup tilt.
His last race day hit out came late last month, with his good second placing behind Jay Tee Tyron in the Rangiora Winter Cup.
Fellow backmarker Storm Prince has not been sighted publicly since his sixth placing at Addington, behind A Bettor Act in mid July.
Trainer Paul Court admitted his 5yr-old’s lack of recent racing was a concern going in to Sunday’s race.
“His work has been good, without being outstanding, and if anything he will just need the run is all,” the trainer said.
“He is just lacking a bit of race fitness.”
Court hopes a pinpoint drive from champion reinsman Blair Orange could help Storm Prince conserve energy, so he can fight out the finish.
“Hopefully Blair can weave a bit of magic with him and look after him without being too aggressive on him and hopefully he can deliver the goods.”
Fellow backmarker, The Tin Soldier, also lacks recent racing ahead of tomorrow’s event.
However, the Brad Mowbray trained 6yr-old has looked ready to resume in his two recent Ashburton trials.
In the latest of those, The Tin Soldier ran his last 800m in 56.0sec to win.
The consistent Nimah Franco looks the hardest of the front markers to beat in the Kurow Cup.