TRAINER Tony Stratford has decided to bypass Cup Week with his star pacer Pulp Fiction and set him for southern cups over the summer.
The Art Major four-year-old put in a big run for third in the $50,000 PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales Series Aged Pace at Kaikoura on 02 November. He made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes — shortly after the start and again when being restrained after challenging the winner Alta Orlando for the lead with a round to go — that probably cost him the race.
“I think if Mark Purdon (on Alta Orlando) hadn’t known we’d broken earlier on, he would have handed up and we would probably have won,” Tony says.
Pulp Fiction has come through the race well but Tony has decided against a start in the Junior Free-For-All on Cup Day where he would be up against the likes of Have Faith In Me. Instead he’ll be set for the Gore Cup just after Christmas before tackling the Central Otago Cup at Omakau and the other cup races in Invercargill.
The entire is owned by Tony’s uncle, Alan Steel, of Gore, along with his son Raymond and his other son Chris’s partner Sally McCann. They turned down huge money for Pulp Fiction because they’re enjoying racing him so much.
Tony’s not planning to take Pulp Fiction to Auckland for the big four-year-old features later in the season with the long-term aim to be in Christchurch this time next year — for the New Zealand Trotting Cup.