YEAR: 2004

Cran Dalgety, Scorching & Mark Jones
Scorching never released his grip on the Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup at Addington last week. He won so well that his surprisingly short odds were in fact no surprise at all. He won like "a good thing", and from as far out as the 500 metres he appeared no less than that.

His margin was decisive - by a length and a half from Young Rufus, who is on the verge of becoming a major player at the top level again. The drive was a corker by Mark Jones, who slipped him clear before the corner. "From the draw, we thought we could dominate the top end," said trainer Cran Dalgety, "and he was pretty forward. I said to Mark that I would rather them be chasing us rather than us chasing them."

During the week, Dalgety used the training track of his father Jim to work Scorching and London Legend, and said London Legend was a bit strong for his stablemate. "They trained as good as each other. London Legend has a bit more speed than Scorching, so it was a good yardstick," he said.

Dalgety has no doubts that Scorching will be a match for "the big boys, but he might not quite win the deposit on the next yacht. But he is a horse who can always go five lengths better than what I think he will go," he said. That being the case, Scorching won't be out of place in the Hannon Memorial, where he goes next, or in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton after that.

Dalgety said the bonus from winning the New Brighton Cup was the automatic invitation to start in the Canterbury Draught New Zealand in November, and he has now set himself on the Cup trail. "I would love to be there, with him in his Sunday-best. He ran 4:06 or 4:07 when he won at Blenheim as a 3-year-old, so I think he would get the trip alright," he said.

Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWeekly 22Sep04

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