Talented trotting mare Claudys Princess.
Saturdays night’s Apco Australasian Trotting Championship might prove a walk in the park for NZ Champion Monbet but there will be one Aussie in particular out to spoil the party.
Claudys Princess has been an outstanding young trotter winning five Group 1 races throughout her career but Saturday night will be her toughest test and trainer Mick Blackmore is under no illusions about the task ahead of her.
“We will have to be on our game to beat Monbet as he is very good. I’m hoping and dreaming that we are a long way ahead of him at the start. If I can be in front of him for a long time at least I’ll be able to run second,” Blackmore said.
Claudys Princess resumed with a sensational run in her heat and Blackmore was pleasantly surprised with that run and also has she has come on from it too.
“She hadn’t raced since the Breeders Crown but had had two nice trials leading into her heat. I thought she was a little fitter than what she was but you can’t beat race fitness,” Blackmore said.
“It’s done her good that run and she has done well this week and everything is good with her.”
A winner of over $300,000 in prizemoney she has always been impeccably placed but now as a five-year-old Blackmore said it’s time to take on the big boys.
“She is a very nice mare but she is going from little football to big football. Last year she had it on them (ability wise) but now she has to realise it’s a much harder game and no one gives you an inch,” Blackmore said.
“She has to earn her stripes but she is getting there for sure.”
If there is a slight concern for Blackmore it is the stand start but he did say she had an excuse for her missing away last week.
“Last week wasn’t her fault. Brent Lilley’s horse (Leanne’s Boy) swung around and checked her at the start. At the trials she normally begins well albeit slowly and I think being up high on the track she can do what she wants early,” Blackmore said.
Monbet is a genuine superstar but has the 20m handicap to overcome so it certainly won’t be easy for him as he will have to come around the entire field.
It looms as another trans-Tasman battle for the ages and the small country town of Kyabram where Claudy’s Princess is trained will be hoping their champion can reign supreme.