Cambridge hitout for Aussie

Top Australian sprinter Atomic Force will use the Cambridge training track as part of his final buildup to the Group I $200,000 Blandford Lodge Railway Stakes at Ellerslie next Sunday.

Atomic Force has been brought to New Zealand by Shane Treweek, assistant trainer to Darren Smith at Newcastle, and he plans to vary the horse’s work with a trip to Cambridge tomorrow morning.

“I’ve been working him here at Te Rapa since we got her last Thursday morning and it will be good for him to go somewhere different,” said Treweek, son of Waikato racing Club’s track manager, Neil Treweek.

Atomic Force has settled in well in New Zealand and trainer Darren Smith will be heading across the Tasman on Friday to be on track at Ellerslie for his first hit at New Zealand racing. “I’m leaving it up to Shane, but I’ll be there for the race,” said Smith. “Shane runs my stable on course at Broadmeadows and we’ve been friends for years. He rode for me a lot.”

Treweek is taking the opportunity to catch up with family and friends and is staying with his parents at Te Rapa. He has lived abroad since he shifted to Australia as an 18-year-old.

Originally apprenticed to Colin Jillings at Takanini, Treweek has also enjoyed success as a rider in Australia as well as Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius. He retired from raceriding three years ago and took up employment with Smith.

Atomic Force has won 10 of his 35 starts and earned over $970,000. He has won twice at 1200, once at 1000 and the remaining seven wins have all been at 1100 including his Group I success in last April’s Galaxy at Randwick.

His last start was in an 1100-metre welter at Canterbury on November 26 and with apprentice Chad Schofield board he lumped 59kg to win. That was on a heavy track, as was his Galaxy win, so the likelihood of rain is appealing to his connections. “He’s won on good ground, too,” said Treweek.