Ripper Rowe Cup Decides Trotting Master

02 May 2019 | Chris Barsby

Here it is.

The final race in the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters, the Gr.1 $150,000 Re-Harvest Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park, Auckland and the title is on the line.

As it stands, Australian based trotter Dance Craze leads the way with 160 points, gathered from her victory in the Great Southern Star and second placing the Grand Prix, both events were staged in her home state and connections elected not to travel across the Tasman Sea for the Auckland features.

So, with Dance Craze staying put, the Trotting Masters title hangs loosely around her neck.

But it’s not guaranteed.

Kiwi trained trotters Marcoola, Lemond, Sundees Son, Speeding Spur and Temporale can all take the title if successful this weekend.

Since its inception during the 1999/2000 season, the APG Trotting Masters series has crowned many champions and another great name will be honoured following the Rowe Cup on Friday night.

A field of 14 will take part in the 3200m stand start feature, the biggest trotting event staged in the North Island and many have winning claims.

Last week in the ANZAC Cup, Canterbury trained trotter Sundees Son announced himself as a genuine top level threat with a brilliant winning performance in the 2200m mobile start feature but can he do it again?

Prepared by Robert and John Dunn, the gifted four-year-old will require some luck and will start on the unruly and sport saddlecloth number 13.

The last trotter to complete the ANZAC/Rowe Cups double was the mighty Monbet back in 2016.

Another champion trotter who completed the ANZAC/Rowe Cups double is I Can Doosit and he happens to be the last trotter to record back to back victories in the Rowe Cup (2011/12).

North American bound Speeding Spur is looking to join I Can Doosit as a back to back winner after scoring stylishly last year, the John and Josh Dickie prepared millionaire will wear saddlecloth number 10.

Speeding Spur finished 4th last week behind Sundees Son after beating him in the Trotting Championship at Addington two starts ago.

Canterbury performer Marcoola requires a bounce back performance this weekend after his disappointing effort last week in the ANZAC Cup but the Ken and Clint Ford prepared star oozes class and looks very much capable of taking his second Trotting Masters feature following his breathtaking display in the Dominion earlier this season.

The Ross Paynter trained Lemond is hoping to give North Island trotters a third consecutive victory in the feature following the triumphs of Speeding Spur last year and Temporale in 2017.

Lemond was excellent last week behind Sundees Son and looks a serious winning chance again for driver Maurice McKendry, a four times winner of the event (Mairo Sultan, Directorship, David Moss & Our Sunny Whiz).

The Tony Herlihy conditioned Temporale looked out of sorts last week in the ANZAC Cup but can’t be dismissed, his staying feats are well known and his record at his home track is excellent.

Herlihy, a winner of the Rowe Cup five times previously, is also represented by rising star Forget The Price Tag, the four-year-old is chasing his third straight victory but will require some luck from the draw but has engaged the services of his brother-in-law Mark Purdon to drive.

Another quality four-year-old boasting serious potential is the Phil Williamson prepared Majestic Man, an eye-catching performer from last week’s ANZAC Cup when storming home for third behind Sundees Son and Lemond.

Majestic Man has drawn the inside and will command plenty of respect again with Phil’s son Brad taking the drive again.

The Williamson stable is also represented by aging warrior Monty Python, a runner-up last year behind Speeding Spur.

Master horseman Paul Nairn is also duly represented with Habibi Inta and Ronald J lining up from his stable, both trotters performed well last week in the ANZAC Cup and can’t be dismissed.

Nairn is chasing his third victory in the Rowe Cup after scoring previously with Stig (2013) and Inspire (2006).

The respected combination of Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett plus star driver Todd Mitchell are chasing their maiden success in the Rowe Cup with the richly talented Massive Metro, a beaten favourite in last week’s ANZAC Cup after galloping at the start and losing all chance.

Massive Metro has drawn ideally and looks a great chance to claim another feature after winning the National Trot earlier this season.

Also chasing their maiden success in the Rowe Cup is Sean McCaffrey and Andre Poutama, the pair combine with handy performer Everybody Knows.

The last mare to win the Rowe Cup was One Over Kenny back in 2009; talented types Bonnie Highlander and Destiny Jones start this year and look to etch their names into the record books.

Other mares that have claimed the Rowe Cup in recent times include Our Sunny Whiz, Inspire, Martina H, La Coocaracha, Merinai and So Long Eden.

In fact, between 2005 through to 2009, mares dominated the event.

The Rowe Cup is race 6 on the program and listed to start at 8.44pm local time.