Renezmae (right) and John Dunn get the better of Galleons Victory. Photo: Trish Dunell.
Classy Canterbury filly Renezmae got her sophomore season back on track with an impressive win in the slush at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The daughter of The Pres out-toughed a field of older horses in the hands of catch-driver John Dunn to put herself in good stead for two upcoming feature races.
“She went really good, but I sort of always knew she would be a good chance of winning the race,” said trainer Jack Harrington.
“And she’ll improve with the run, too, which gives us a bit of confidence heading in to the next couple of starts.”
A likely return bout with New Zealand Trotting Derby and Oaks winner Luby Lou is on the cards for next Friday night’s $60,000 Sires Stakes Trotters Championship.
Harrington is obviously full of respect for Luby Lou, and her stablemate Winterfell, but takes a lot of heart from Dunn’s feedback last night.
“Johnny said she felt pretty good going around that way (clockwise), but he also gave us a few things to work on, too.”
Renezmae missed the Derby at Addington but finished down the track in the Oaks after being worked over relentlessly in front.
“Dexter (Dunn, driver) wanted to lead up but got drilled the whole way.
“They were running even 30 quarters the whole way and it was just too tough in the conditions, setting it up for those out the back.”
After the Sires Stakes and then the $100,000 Group 1 Northern Trotting Derby a week later (Rowe Cup night), Harrington is considering a return across the Tasman with last season’s Australasian Breeders Crown champion.
If not, there is the $30,000 Northern Trotting Oaks in Auckland on May 11 and the $125,000 3YO Ruby at Cambridge on June 2.
“We’ll just sort of see how she gets through the next two runs; there are options in Australia before the Jewels for us to consider.
“The New South Wales Oaks and Derby are both on in early May and there is the Victorian Oaks, too.”
The Victorian Oaks, worth A$60,000 is on at Melton on the same day as the Harness Jewels.
When Renezmae headed off Galleons Victory in a close finish, she also prevented the latter’s trainers, Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis, from training a treble on the night.
They had early won trotting events with Jansson and Magnafique, continuing their excellent start to 2018 which has seen them win 19 races and just over three months.
Tony Herlihy was another to train a double, winning the last two races with promising three-year-old Revolver and in-form Italian Delight, who won the $17,000 Franklin Country Cup.