Exciting season ahead for Lemond

Ross Paynter - Trish Dunell
Ross Paynter

Trish Dunell

Cambridge trainer Ross Paynter is looking forward to an exciting spring with his Group One-winning trotter Lemond after his brave runner-up performance in the Otahuhu Club Mobile Trot (1609m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The son of Love You set the early speed after trotting away well, but was tackled late by Temporale after a great tussle down the home straight, while seven-time Group One winner Speeding Spur was a length away in third. 
“I’m very happy with him,” Paynter said. “He only got beaten by a half-head and I just thought that we might have run a bit too hard early because Tony’s other horse (The Almighty Johnson) got out of the gate pretty good and they went that first quarter in 27 (seconds). 
“The other two (Temporale and Speeding Spur) just sat back and sat off a hot pace early, so I thought he fought to the line very well.”
Paynter has a lot of respect for Speeding Spur and fellow multiple Group One winner Temporale and thinks all three trotters will be hard to beat when it comes down to the business-end of racing this spring.
“They were both very good, I think Speeding Spur suits a bit more distance and Temporale is just a very good horse all-round,” Paynter said.
“He’s pretty versatile Lemond, he likes a good solid two mile race as well. It’s just going to be where they all position up in the races and you’re going to need a bit of luck. They are three very good horses.”
The six-year-old also impressed Paynter with his first-up run at Alexandra Park a week earlier where he came off a 50m handicap to finish third over 2700m.
“He put in a brave effort in his fresh-up run,” he said. “He went 3.26.7 which is pretty good because he’s not screwed down at all yet. So I am pretty happy where he is at with his runs and to know where his fitness is at too.”
Paynter is now eyeing a Gr.1 ‘Used to Me’ Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Trot (3200m) path with Lemond this spring with the Granite Benchtop Company New Zealand Free-For-All (1980m) also on the cards for the Charlie Hunter-owned trotter.
“We’ve nominated him for the Dominion,” Paynter said. “We haven’t really sat down and had a real talk yet, but at this stage we might go to the Cup trial and then go into the free-for-all and then the Dominion.”
Paynter said Lemond could have some company on his southern trip, with his full-brother and stablemate Il Pirata set to join him if everything goes to plan.
“Il Pirata, he’ll just stick to left-handed for now. He’s just been touching himself a little bit right-handed. If I’m happy with him just before we go to cup week I might even venture taking him down, but we’ll see, it’s not set in stone yet.”
Meanwhile Paynter, who also bred Lemond, has retired his dam and broodmare gem Cipollini. The Sergio Hanover mare is also the dam of Group Three-winner Anquetil and Listed 2YO Ruby (1609) winner Merckx.
“She’s (Cipollini) starting to get on a bit now,” he said. “She’s still looking really healthy, but we’re going to leave her empty and we’ll just look after her.
“We’ve got a nice daughter of hers by Monarchy to breed on with, so we’ll just breed from her from now on. She’s due to foal to Andover Hall and will got to Father Patrick this season.” – Cambridge Raceway


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