By Duane Ranger
Trainers Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins only have one horse entered at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday and they have every reason to make the 340km return trip from Taupaki.
The eight-race programme brings an end to the season at Cambridge Raceway and the Cooney and Hopkins trained Somewhereinbrooklyn has a royal chance of being crowned 2018's Dunstan Feeds Horse-of-the-Year.
The son of Somebeachsomewhere has 25 points - just one behind the Andrew and Lynn Neal trained Credit Master. The Warren Taylor Sir Henry Castleton is third with 22.
The latter isn't lining up on Sunday but Somewhereinbrooklyn and Credit Master will start in races five and seven respectively. Both 4-year-old geldings have drawn the outside of the front row.
Cooney said the title with cash and product incentives made the five-hour round trip worthwhile.
“It would be an honour to train a horse good enough to win the Cambridge Horse-of-the-Year. He’s certainly trained on well enough to win on Sunday. We will know what we have to do after Credit Master’s race.
“If that horse wins second might but our lot, but no-one remembers the silver medal winner,” Cooney said.
Somewhereinbrooklyn has been a regular at the Cambridge Raceway in 2017-2018, with all but two of his 17 starts on the track this season. He has produced three wins, four seconds, a third, and
“He’s a much better horse the left-handed (Cambridge) way around. He will need luck from eight but there's only eight in it and Luke (Whittaker) should get his chance to get a go at them at some stage. He is driving the highest assessed horse in the field and we get a claim with the Luke in the sulky," Cooney said.
Somewhereinbrooklyn, who is rated 69, will wear saddle cloth number eight in the $8,500 J Swap Contractors Mobile for the R65 to R70 pacers.
“He’s starting to come into his best form now. He’s got better and better and there is still room for improvement because he’s still growing, " Cooney said.
Auckland Trotting Club Board members, Bruce Carter and Ross Johnson bred and own Somewhereinbrooklyn. They leased him to Cooney’s wife Anne late last year.