By Jonny Turner
Canterbury pacer Dadndave ran his rivals ragged to score the biggest win of Tim Trathen’s training career in Saturday’s Invercargill Cup.
Driver Brent Barclay had the 4yr-old in front soon after the start of the group 3 feature and they set a pace that had their rivals chasing in vain throughout.
Dadndave still had plenty left in reserve after setting a strong tempo in the middle stages to reel off a 56sec last 800m to win the 2700m handicap.
“It was a great drive – I said to Brent he usually steps well, so it worked out great,” Trathen said.
Trathen races Dadndave with the two men the horse is named after – his father, John, and Dave McHugh, the proprietor at the Yaldhurst Hotel in Christchurch.
“It good for Dad because he’s been a bit sick and Dave’s got a few with us,” Trathen said.
“I’m only allowed to drink at the [Yaldhurst Hotel] otherwise he’d probably take the horses off me.”
Dadndave produced consistent form in three of his four starts at both the recent Nelson and Blenheim meetings.
He took no part in his last run after galloping out, which came with a silver lining after some initial disappointment.
That soft run meant Dadndave could head south soon after a busy ten days at the top of the South Island.
“He had just been thriving and he pulled up good, so we thought we would bite the bullet and he can have a wee freshener after this.”
“He had no luck, really, at Blenheim.”
“He is a lovely wee horse, he has quite a bit of character about him.”
Dadndave’s trip to last year’s Nelson meeting showed he had the staying prowess to win a feature cups event like the Invercargill Cup.
The pacer beat older horses over 3000m to win the Nelson Cup as a 3yr-old.
Dadndave’s Invercargill Cup victory is Trathen’s biggest success among the 32 winners he has trained since 1993.
“That would be the biggest win for me.”
“I have a few, but I don’t race that many, just some with friends and family.”
Trathen works as a farrier and also pre trains horses for All Stars trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
Runner-up Franco Santino sat on Dadndave’s back throughout Saturday’s race, but could not reel him in.
Later on Saturday, smart 3yr-old Spirit Of St Louis bounced back after his Roxburgh Cup disappointment earlier this month to beat older and more experienced pacers.
The Graeme Anderson trained 3yr-old reverted back to mobile racing after standing on the mark and taking no part in the Roxburgh Cup.
Spirit Of St Louis was too good in race 10 after sitting parked for the last lap for driver Matthew Williamson.