Governor's Bay and Dexter Dunn, in a prior Addington win. Photo: Race Images.
The New Zealand Cup carnival in November is the long-term goal for exciting pacer Governor’s Bay, who was superb in defeat at Addington on Friday night.
After being three-wide for the trip, the son of Rocknroll Hanover was nailed in the shadows of the posts by Born To Run, preventing what would have been a hat-trick of wins.
His trainer, Tom Bagrie, says it has been a waiting game with the four-year-old, but the connections’ patience is now paying off.
“We’ve sort of waited for the penny to drop for quite a while.
“We’ve always thought he was a really nice horse, he just seemed to have a few problems.
“Growing pains I think, but I don’t know for sure.”
He’ll have one more start before a spell and then a preparation geared around the second week of November.
“We’re pretty keen to give him a good break and come back and attack Cup Week.
“He’s going to have one more start next week in a $20,000 stand.”
Governor’s Bay debuted at the start of December and had won back-to-back starts at Addington in the lead-up to Friday’s effort.
Naturally, the phone has been ringing since Friday night’s performance and agents are circling.
“We’ve had a few phone calls but nothing is really set in stone.
“Every horse of ours is for sale at the right price, though.”
Bagrie’s father, Peter, developed and sold champion pacer Themightyquinn at the end of his three-year-old campaign in 2008.
Peter went one better than his son, training a winner on Friday night’s card with the much-improved mare Bettor’s Heart.
While training separately, the father and son enjoy each other’s wins as their own.
“We call ourselves Team Bagrie,” said Tom.
“She’s really starting to go some good races and everything is working out well for her.
“She’ll drink a whole bucket of water, eat a full meal and she’s a much better colour than she was.
“We haven’t worked out what we’ve done to get her to turn the corner, but we did notice it in her work recently and have been a lot happier with her.”
Peter bred and races Bettor’s Heart with wife Anne while the couple also share in the ownership of Governor’s Bay with longtime stable client George Bennett.
“George is one of dad’s really good mates and this is the first one I’ve trained for him,” said Tom.
Bagrie will line up his good trotter BD Khaosan in the $30,000 4&5YO Trotting Championship at Addington on Saturday, a race where he will meet open class star Temporale.
“We were a bit disappointed with him last time and we ran a blood, but nothing was wrong.
“I can’t really put it down to anything and I have been really happy with his work.”