Consistent Cambridge trotter CK Spur did his Group One aspirations no harm when he took out the Congrats Brent Mangos On 1500 wins Handicap Trot (2700m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The Arna Donnelly-trained gelding had a lot of ground to make up in the straight but showed a good turn of foot to gather in his opposition to win by half a length over Mr Good and Evil.
“He wasn’t entitled to win on the turn,” Donnelly said. “If he could have run third we would have been rapt, but he really lifted and showed some speed down the straight to get there. It was another good drive by David (Butcher).
“He may not be the best one out there, but he just tries so hard and has just got the most impeccable manners, which is taking him a long way.”
CK Spur has been in a rich vein of form of late, with Friday’s win taking his rating over the 90 mark and on his way towards a start in the Gr.1 Dominion Trot (3200m) at Addington in November.
“He’s nominated for the Dominion,” Donnelly said. “I think he would love the two miles, that would be his go. He’s probably just a notch below the best ones, but his manners overcome that.
“We are just going to reassess things over the next few weeks. There is still good money on our doorstep here at Auckland to race for.”
CK Spur’s victory also marked a winning double at the Alexandra Park meeting for Donnelly who won earlier on the card with Young Conqueror.
It was the second win on-end for the son of Mach Three and Donnelly said he took a lot of confidence out of his previous win at Cambridge Raceway earlier this month.
“It was a fantastic result. They have both been racing really well, but you always need that bit of luck.
“I thought it was a huge confidence booster for Young Conqueror the way he won the race prior.
“The only thing that concerned me was the draw (12), but Scott (Phelan) drove him fantastically and once he found the top I thought he would be hard to beat.”
Donnelly was also pleased with the run of six-year-old trotter Fira who ran third in the Metalcraft Trot (2700m) on Friday.
“That was quite surprising because she is not the best right-handed, but she seemed to handle herself quite well and it was a bonus that she got the lead and the fence, which helped her,” Donnelly said.
“She seemed to trot really well and I was quite happy with her.”
Donnelly now sits on three wins for the season and is excited about the prospects of a couple of youngsters who are nearing their raceday debuts.
“I am really happy with the way the team is going,” she said. “We have got quite a few young ones, we had three maidens trial on the weekend and they are not too far away from stepping out.” – Cambridge Raceway
CK Spur winning the Congrats Brent Mangos On 1500 wins Handicap Trot (2700m)