YEAR: 2007


Bruce Hutton enjoyed one of his finest moments as a trainer when his stable representatives ran first and third in the $25,000 Ballantynes Handicap Trot at Addington on Cup Day. Hutton only had two horses in on the day, and he almost walked away with the perfect result when Lord Burghley led all the way and Rhythm Of The Night made ground stylishly late for third. "Getting a quinella on Cup Day is something that I really would have liked - just that blimmin' North Islander got in the way," Hutton joked afterwards.

That 'North Islander' was Our Sunny Whiz, who, in her first look around Addington, galloped on the Showgrounds bend when challenging for the front early yet staged a mammoth recovery afterwards to go under by a head. "No matter how good you are, it just goes to show that you can't come off your home ground and dominate - especially against the Canterbury boys," Hutton said. "That was a terrific effort by Our Sunny Whiz after breaking, but she did get a pretty good run afterwards and Rhythm Of The Night dragged her into it."

You could tell that the Greendale trainer had been quietly confident about both his horses' chances in the event too, an attitude that belied their ninth and tenth favouritism on the tote. "The media and public have overlooked them," he said. "To tell how a horse has performed, you've got to look at the whole race. I mean, Rhythm Of The Night took two lengths off Houdini Star the last time they raced here, and all they (the media) could talk about was how good Houdini Star went." That was back at the start of the month, when Rhythm Of The Night ran fourth behind Genius, and having scored the start prior he was taking some pretty good form into Cup Day's race.

Lord Burghley was a different kettle of fish in that department though, his formline reading 006 after starting the season off with a third and a win. "He had bad luck at Motukara, then stood on a shoe after that - we've been battling to get him right ever since," Hutton said. "He hung real bad here at Addington two starts back, even though he showed some speed that night, and it's just been a case of a lot of hard work being put in by my partner Vicky and the guy Troy that works for us. "We use a product called Equipak on their feet, which is really good because it takes all the shock out of them. Lord Burghley's been on it for the last fortnight, and Rhythm Of The Night can't race without it."

Hutton says his latest winner will be staying home on Show Day while Rhythm Of The Night takes on the NZ Trotting FFA field, then both sets of his maroon and grey colours will be donned again in the Dominion. "Rhythm Of The Night normally gives them fifty metres start and then has to go round them, so the mobile's going to suit him. And if he draws good, then who knows. I think both horses have earned the right to be there."

Credit: John Robinson writing in HRWeekly

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