By Jonny Turner
The Falcon will have his toughness put to the test when he attempts to double up at Addington on Sunday.
The Geoff Dunn trained 2yr-old impressed when sitting parked and outmuscling one of the smartest maiden fields since lockdown in his last start, early last month.
The form out of the race has been hot with Percy, Bettor Grunter and Savvy Bromac all going on to win after chasing The Falcon and driver Gerard O’Reilly home.
Dunn did not go in to the horse’s debut with huge confidence, but he knew his horse had a good amount of talent.
“He is just a nice horse, at that stage I thought he might have lacked a little bit of speed and those horses would be too quick for him.”
“But, I thought it was a really good drive and he just outstayed them.”
Since his win, Dunn has given the Bettor’s Delight pacer some time off and then worked on having him ready to race again.
“He has been good, I am really happy with him,” the trainer said.
“I gave him a wee break and he has had one trial.”
“He was going to have another trial, but then we decided to put him in on Sunday.”
That trial also contained a hot line up that included Friday night’s winner, Its All About Faith and placegetter, Pace N Pride.
The Falcon worked home nicely from midfield on a sizzling 26.8sec last 400m.
It is his staying prowess, rather than that kind of speed which will be tested on Sunday.
Stepping up from the 1980m of his first win to 2600m in race 8 is a slight concern for Dunn.
“That is the only question, but he should handle it alright.”
“He has been working really good, but he is not really match fit.”
“But, he is only a 2yr-old and they are pretty naturally sort of fit anyway.”
Dunn and O’Reilly also combine with Lottie Moon, who starts from barrier 6 in race 3.
Like her stablemate, the 4yr-old has been running around in strong company.
“If you look at her sectionals she had been going really well,” Dunn said.
“Again, we have picked a softer option on Sunday.”
“It would have been nice to draw in a little bit, but she has also been working really well.”
Sunday’s meeting features the final three heats of the New Zealand Junior Driver’s Championship.
Luke Whittaker looks a big chance of moving up from eighth position on the leaderboard in heat four (race 1).
His drive, Anamajor, drops in class after having to take on his stablemate, Kensington Bill in his last start at Addington.
Dylan Ferguson has the form runner in heat five (race 4) in Eastwood Isabella.
His main mission will be to negotiate a winning path for the in-form mare from barrier 1 on the second row.
Crackerbrie and Sonic Reign also look good hopes, but they are also drawn awkwardly in barriers 9 and 8 respectively.
Kerryn Tomlinson and Sarah O’Reilly drive the leading chances in heat six (race 6) of the competition.
Escargo (O’Reilly) and Bright Glow (Tomlinson) both go in to race 6 after running good second placings in their last starts.