Paul Nairn is a rare and special talent.
The Canterbury based horseman does the unthinkable and the unimaginable when working with his trotters; he sees things a lot differently to most.
But the results follow.
Nairn has won most, if not all major trotting features throughout the southern hemisphere and tonight (Friday) he added the elusive Gr.1 $100,000 HR Fisken & Sons 2017 ANZAC Cup at Alexandra Park, Auckland when his in-form mare Habibti Ivy led throughout defeating Lemond and Eyre I Come.
Beginning well from her favourable draw in the 2200m mobile start feature, Habibti Ivy wrestled the lead away from Lemond and was perfectly rated there after by reinsman Blair Orange.
The lead time was covered in 42.4 seconds.
Habibti Ivy went through the first half of the final mile in sectionals of 31.2 and 30.5 seconds, the flashy chestnut five-year-old mare trotted in good rhythm.
Entering the back straight, Orange allowed Habibti Ivy to quicken while her stablemate Wilmas Mate and Bordeaux attempted to match her power.
Habibti Ivy trotted the third quarter in 28.9 seconds.
At the turn, Habibti Ivy shook off the challenges from Wilmas Mate and Bordeaux while Lemond and Eyre I Come came through quickly via the passing lane.
Habibti Ivy refused to yield and responded gamely under the urgings from Orange to score a half head victory from Lemond with Eyre I Come a further length away in third.
The final quarter was timed in 28.9 seconds.
It was race record time of 2:41.9 which equates to a mile rate of 1:58.4.
“That’s a special victory because this mare has been through a fair bit over the year or so, we gave her time and she’s now repaying the faith,” Nairn said.
“I was happy with her form going into in the race and thought she would give a good account of herself and she’s managed to win a group one in her first attempt.” He added.
Habibti Ivy, raced by her breeders Gaby and Julie Maghzal, is unbeaten in five starts to date this campaign.
With 8 wins from just 14 starts, Habibti Ivy has now earned in excess of $135,000 with the promise of plenty more to come.
Next week, the Gr.1 $150,000 Canam Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park is the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters with the series still very much alive.
Sydney trained trotter On Thunder Road leads the way with 101 points while Monbet, Glenferrie Typhoon and now Habibti Ivy sharing second with 100 points.
The victory of Habibti Ivy in the ANZAC Cup and a forward showing again next week gives her an excellent chance of being crowned the Trotting Master given the above mentioned won’t be starting.
The Rowe Cup will be staged from the stand and run over the distance of 3200m.