Lovely Bundy has stablemate Cyclone S Adams to thank for taking out the Dunstan Horse Feeds Cambridge Horse of the Year competition.
While the former Peter and Vaughan Blanchard-trained mare hasn’t raced since winning at Cambridge Raceway in January, she took a two point lead into the last meeting of the season at the Waikato track on Thursday.
There were nine horses still in contention heading into the meeting, including Gr.2 NSW Trotting Derby (2400m) winner Xebec.
The Benjamin Aubron-trained gelding had a stiff task ahead of him starting from the 35m mark in the Melanie, 60, What!? Handicap Trot (2200m) and he was only able to gather in the main field with a lap to go.
Driver Zachary Butcher was able to weave Xebec through a tiring field and launch a late charge to catch the Blanchard-trained Cyclone S Adams, and while he was making big inroads into the lead, the finish line came up too soon for the son of Orlando Vici and he finished three-quarters of a length behind the victor.
“Xebec needed to win to draw with Lovely Bundy and our other guy (Cyclone S Adams) just held on, so we got quite a buzz out of that,” Vaughan Blanchard said.
“It was a double whammy really, getting the win and also taking out the Horse of the Year competition.”
Blanchard was pleased with Cyclone S Adams heading into Thursday, with the son of Wishing Stone having won his previous start at Cambridge.
“He was really good a fortnight ago and we thought he was better this week, just from having that run,” Blanchard said.
“He bobbled away early, but ended up getting a pretty good run during the race and he just held on.
“Everything panned out well for him.”
Blanchard was delighted to win the Cambridge Horse of the Year title and said the COVID-19 enforced hiatus from racing assisted Lovely Bundy’s chances in the competition.
“We are rapt and thrilled winning the competition,” Blanchard said.
“The COVID-19 enforced break made it a lot harder for those other ones that were chasing her down.”
Lovely Bundy cemented her lead in the competition after winning her last three career starts at Cambridge Raceway in January, after which she was retired after being served by What The Hill last year.
“We felt like she was trotting the best she ever has in those last three races,” Blanchard said.
“She was in-foal so didn’t have any seasonal troubles that she had throughout her career.”
Lovely Bundy is due to foal down next month and Blanchard said it would be nice to train the resulting foal of the 12-win trotter.
By taking out the Cambridge Raceway competition, Lovely Bundy won her owners $4,000, while her trainers were awarded a $3,000 product prize from sponsors Dunstan Horse Feeds.
Local trainer Kyle Marshall received a $2,000 product prize with Lukyanova finishing runner-up, while Our Spitfire made it a trifecta for the trotters, finishing third and winning her trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett a $1,000 product prize. – Cambridge Raceway