Addictive Habit to head Queensland squad


Queensland prospect Addictive Habit  beating Nashville in the Gr. 2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile. (Photo: Race Images, Chch).

Queensland prospect Addictive Habit beating Nashville and Silverdale in the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile at Riccarton last November. (Photo: Race Images, Chch).

Cambridge trainer Lee Somervell will be looking to add strength to his attack on the Queensland Winter Carnival when he heads to Te Rapa tomorrow.

Somervell already has stable star Addictive Habit penciled-in for a flight to Brisbane and he is hoping to add Amun Ra’s name to the list after the NRM 1200, a three-year-old event at the Waikato Racing Club’s meeting.

Amun Ra won as a late two-year-old at Te Rapa last July and showed promise early this season with a third to Stratocaster and Turn Me Loose in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas Prelude and a fourth at Matamata before a fifth to Turn Me Loose and Prince Mambo in the Gr. 2 DHL Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

He was freshened after one further start last October and had a couple of runs last December before being given a break.

He will resume over 1200 metres tomorrow with Trudy Thornton in the saddle and the easing of the ground should help his chances.

“If he shapes up on Saturday I’ll look to take him to Brisbane with Addictive Habit,” he said. “He could go for some of the three-year-old races like the Rough Habit Plate. The ultimate goal would be the Queensland Derby.”

Last Wednesday Addictive Habit took a step towards his Queensland campaign when doing an exhibition gallop between races at Matamata. It was his first public outing since he won the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile at Riccarton last November.

“He’s overweight and needed a good hit-out,” said Somervell. “When I weighed him the other day he was 550kg, compared to 528kg he weighed when winning the Coupland’s Mile.

“He’s so relaxed and not doing enough on the (training) track.”

Ridden by Danielle Johnson, Addictive Habit worked from the 1000 metres, quickening from the 600 and stretched out strongly over the final stages. “He felt good,” said Johnson. “He loved it out there.”

Addictive Habit will trial at Cambridge on March 24 then be set for the Gr. 1 $200,000 Manco Easter Handicap at Ellerslie on April 18 and if he performs well there he will head to Queensland for a campaign aimed at the Gr. 1 Doomben Cup.

“After his trial he’ll have his first-up run over 1400 metres at Te Aroha (on April 4),” said Somervell, who also plans to have Celebrity Miss at the same meeting. He has decided to have a crack at the Gr. 1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes with Celebrity Miss.

Celebrity Miss completed a hat trick of middle-distance wins at Ellerslie last week and has been freshened for the 1600-metre feature.

“She warrants a crack at a good one and she runs a pretty good 1600,” said Somervell.