Threepeat: Champion pacer Terror To Love won his third New Zealand Cup today at Addington Photo by HRNZ
The heroics of Terror To Love won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
The champion pacer etched his name into the record books alongside Indianapolis and False Step as three-time New Zealand Cup winners after a brilliant display in today’s Gr.1 $NZ650,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington Raceway.
It was a performance that left seasoned racegoers stunned.
Because it was performance like no other, missing the start badly after a rare mistake when the strands were released and then being forced to chase the large field before making a sweeping run mid-race before obtaining the lead while your two main dangers sit coiled on your back waiting for their shot at glory.
Soon after straightening, Terror To Love was a sitting duck.
Fly Like An Eagle and Christen Me peeled either side of him and loomed big dangers but the party was just starting for Terror To Love and his connections.
Calling on his champion qualities, Terror To Love responded and rallied as he proved yet again he is clearly the best two mile performer in this part of the world.
For training combination of Graham and Paul Court, father and son, it was a wave of emotions as their striking stallion withstood all challengers and rose to the occasion on the biggest day possible on New Zealand soil for the third straight year.
Aimed deliberately at the Holy Grail since capturing the Harness Jewels 5YO Final back on June 2 at Ashburton, the preparation was timed to perfection with the Court’s constantly stating that he would peak on Cup Day even though his lead-up form was impeccable.
The planning was pinpoint accurate.
It was a performance that would make legendary Australian thoroughbred trainer (J.B) Bart Cummings proud.
For winning driver Ricky May, it catapults the diminutive reinsman into rare air because the victory provided him with his seventh New Zealand Cup.
No driver has won the Cup more than May after previous triumphs with Inky Lord, Iraklis, Mainland Banner, Monkey King (twice) and of course Terror To Love, it’s a record that looks set to stand the test of time.
Prior to today, May shared the record with (C.C) Cecil Devine.
And while the accolades flowed freely immediately after the event for May, he was quick to deflect praise onto his equine hero.
“That was just unbelievable; that was an effort of an absolute champion.” May stated.
“The build-up was intense and the pressure was extreme, I thought we’d blown it at the start but he clearly showed all of his champion qualities when he fought off both Fly Like An Eagle and Christen Me.” May added.
Officially, Terror To Love scored by a neck margin over Fly Like An Eagle with a further 1.25 lengths further back to Christen Me.
The race time was 3;57.0 – the second fastest New Zealand Cup with only Changeover recording a faster time at 3;56.4 back in 2008.
The mile rate was 1;59.1 with his final 800m clocked in 56 seconds.
Next stop for the six-year-old will be another shot at Australasia’s premier speed test, the Gr.1 $750,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on November 30.