By Jonny Turner
Woodend Beach trainer Regan Todd is in the curious position of being able to focus on the rest of his team despite the reigning New Zealand Cup winner joining his stable.
Todd is effectively playing host for Thefixer as Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen attempt to revive the pacer’s spring campaign.
The trainers have turned to beach training as the defending New Zealand Cup champion battles hoof problems in the lead up to his title defence.
The All Stars team have been working and caring for Thefixer while he has been stationed at Todd’s stable.
That means apart from some routine feeding, Todd is in the unusual position of being able to watch on as the star pacer is prepared for the second Tuesday in November.
“It is a bit of a thrill having him there,” Todd said.
“They’ve done absolutely everything with him, we are just lucky enough to have him staying.”
“It will be great if he can go good on Sunday and head towards the cup.”
The first race day step towards the New Zealand Cup comes on Sunday, when Thefixer lines up for his first start of the season in the Methven Cup.
Todd has runners of his own at the Methven meeting, as well as starters at Gore on Saturday and Addington on Thursday night.
The trainer hopes Lonestar Lad can kick off his weekend in style and be rewarded for his consistency at Addington.
The 5yr-old is out to score a deserving win after producing three second placings in the fours starts of his new campaign.
“Hopefully Thursday night is his night,” Todd said.
“He has been consistent apart from the night he sat parked – it didn’t really suit him.”
“Apart from that, he has been going great races, he has been getting back and flashing home.”
Lonestar Lad looks to have every opportunity to notch a victory when he starts from barrier one in Thursday night’s rating 56-80 trot.
It will be up to driver Robbie Close to decide how best to use the ace draw.
“We have got a good draw over the 1980m from the mobile, so we will look to make the most of it,” Todd said.
“Robbie has got options whether he to hold up or take a trail.”
Todd also starts Splash Cola in the event.
The 9yr-old looks to have a huge task ahead of her from the outside of the front line in her first start July.
Todd and Close also combine with Lets Hustle in Thursday night’s rating 45-53 event over 2600m.
The pacer went a sound race in a strong event at Addington two weeks ago, won by Im A Gigolo.
Prior to that, Lets Hustle was desperately unlucky behind Kiwis Are Flying.
The 5yr-old looks a genuine each way chance when he clashes with two talented types in Down To The Bone and Stunin Magic on Thursday.
“He has been going great for us and the last two starts he has been thrown in the deep end against some of the better ones and he hasn’t disgraced himself,’” Todd said.
“He is really well and he is drawn good, too.”
“So, hopefully he can slot in somewhere and finish over top of them.”
The All Stars stable will also be at Addington on Thursday night with a small team.
They will give leading filly Amazing Dream the first start of her 3yr-old season in a competitive mares event over 1980m.
The trainers also step out Winterfell in Thursday night’s fast class trot.
The 5yr-old disappointed his backers when battling in to fifth in the Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup.
Winterfell should strip fitter for that run when he clashes again with runner-up, Valloria.