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|RACING HISTORY |
FEATURE RACE COMMENT
1973 NZ TROTTING CUP
Doubts that Arapaho would see out a solidly run 3200 metres against such talented opposition were completely dispelled when he raced away with the $40,000 NZ Cup.
Not only did Arapaho win the Cup, but he did so by five lengths in the brilliant time of 4:08.6 for the 3200 metres, which compares favourably with False Step's 4:09 recorded in winning his third NZ Cup in 1960 when the distance was two miles. The fastest time recorded in the Cup over two miles was Johnny Globe's 4:07.6 in 1954. This was a world record which stood until 1969 when Dainty's Daughter recorded 4:07 in Western Australia.
Arapaho, who at the start of the season was under option to an American buyer for $100,000 but remained in New Zealand when the sale fell through, proved by far the best stayer in the field. Dunsandel owner Mr Laurie Forde has now won 23 races both here and in Australia with Arapaho who took his stake earnings to $90,270 with the $24,000 first prize.
Arapaho was given a dream run by trainer-driver Jack Smolenski. Sixth early he had a turn in front at the 2100 metre mark as the early lead changed frequently, and was then three back on the rails when first Vanadium then Rauka Lad took the lead. Rauka Lad made the pace from the 1800 metres when Young Quinn was shot into a handy lead by Bob Cameron. Vanadium and Arapaho moved to be second and third on the home turn, but Arapaho proved too strong for Young Quinn and went on to win by five lengths.
Last year's Cup winner Globe Bay went another good race for second. He improved along the rails to be in fifth place on the turn and finished determinedly to edge Young Quinn out of second by half a neck. Young Quinn, the youngest horse in the race at four, made a game attempt to beat his older rivals. He was one of several to have a turn in front early when he led briefly at the 2600 metre mark, but at the 1600 he was well placed in the fourth line on the outside of Fab. Cameron sent him passed the tiring Rauka Lad at the 600 metre mark and he turned for home with a handy advantage. He could not maintain it, but his third in such a fast-run race was a good effort for a young horse.
Robalan third in the race last year, gained another placing when he battled on for fourth though four lengths back. He drifted to the rear after 800 metres and then had to go very wide when improving from the 700 metre mark. He was sixth, but very wide out turning for home. Royal Ascot did best of the three horse bracket which include Manaroa and Manawaru. He finished fifth, but never looked like paying a dividend. He had only Manaroa and Robalan behind him at the 800 metre mark and then had to go three, then four wide round Noble Lord at the 400 metres. He was a length back fifth at the line. Vanadium, who trailed Rauka Lad from the 1800 metres, wilted to sixth a length back and a nose in front of Lightsey who ran on well after breaking at the start.
Scottish Charm just battled away in the middle of the field two lengths back with a gap of five lengths back to Noble Lord who made a brief forward move at the 800 metres, but was struggling at the 400 metre mark. Manawaru, who was under pressure to maintain his position at the 800 metres, was a further four lengths back ahead of Bomber Bill, Fab, Manaroa, who broke badly at the start, and Rauka Lad. Rauka Lad stopped badly after going up fast to lead at the 1800 metre mark.
Credit: 'Lookout' writing in NZ Trotguide