Cambridge trainer Arna Donnelly closed the year out in perfect style at her home track on Tuesday when recording a winning double, courtesy of New York Minute and Rough and Ready.
New York Minute did it tough in the Downbytheseaside At Woodlands Mobile Pace (2200m), sitting parked for the majority of the race, but he was able to out tough his rivals and post a half-head victory over Happy Place in the hands of stable junior driver Alicia Harrison.
Donnelly was pleased with the win, particularly after having another tough run at the Waikato track on Christmas Eve when finishing third over 2200m.
“He has been racing really well,” Donnelly said. “He did it really tough last week, he was three-wide for the last 1200m. He seems to be a bit tougher than speed at the moment.”
Donnelly was also pleased for Harrison, who was able to improve her season tally with the win.
“Alicia is driving really well and she puts a lot of hard work in and she deserves all the credit she gets.”
Later on the card, Rough And Ready secured the winning double when taking out the Happy 64th Birthday Malcolm Mulligan Mobile Pace (2200m) in the hands of Todd Mitchell.
Rough and Ready sat off the pace for the majority of the race before being launched three-wide heading down the back straight for the final time. He quickly took control of the race and ran away to a comfortable 2-13/4 length victory.
“We think we have found the key with him, we have been driving him a bit colder,” Donnelly said. “He went really well last week and he was super tonight. He showed a bit of lick and fought on hard.
“I am really rapt for his owner, Robert Symon. He has been a loyal supporter.”
While rapt with closing out the year on her home track with a double, Donnelly is hoping she can add to that tally when she takes a team of four to Alexandra Park on Thursday night.
Her charge will be led by in-form pacers Taipo and Kango in the Auckland Co-op Taxis 300-3000 Mobile Pace (2200m).
The pair have been in near impeccable form, with Taipo only finishing out of the money on one occasion in his eight-start career, while Kango’s picket fence form line just came to a halt in the Gr.2 Franklin Cup (2700m) after breaking at the start.
“They are hard to split those two,” Donnelly said. “It all depends on who gets the better run. There is not a lot between them. They have both been really well.
“It’s a little bit of a jump up to what they have been racing, so they will need to be on their game, but I think they are.”
Donnelly will also line-up Waitforever in the Mark & Natalie – “Au Revoir” Mobile Pace (2200m), and Outlaw Man in the Lincoln Farms Mobile Pace (2200m).
“The earplugs didn’t come off Waitforever last start,” Donnelly said. “She did it tough, she worked a couple of times during the race and fought on well. She has come through that race really well and I expect her to be a really good chance.
“Outlaw Man has just drawn out a bit wide (7), but he has been racing really well and has been running pretty good times. If he can get a drag into it, he won’t be too far away.” - Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk