Claim an incentive in change of Habit’s plans

Talented Cambridge galloper Addictive Habit is staying closer to home this weekend than originally planned.

Trainer Lee Somervell’s initial plan was to head to Trentham for today’s Gr. 3 $70,000 TBS Thompson Handicap (1600m) but instead he has opted to line Addictive Habit up in the $25,000 Seafood Bazaar 1600 at Te Rapa on Monday.

“He’s very well and I thought if I could avoid another trip away with him it would be better,” said Somervell. “When I realised apprentices could claim in the open handicap at Te Rapa it seemed the logical race to go for.

“My apprentice Ulrika (Holmquist) will ride him and can take three kilos off his back. That brings him down to 56 kilos and puts him into the race with a nice weight.”

Holmquist, who is in good form, has had one ride on Addictive Habit, when finishing second at Tauranga last May. “She rides him in all his trackwork and I’m sure she will do the job well,” said Somervell.

Addictive Habit won three open handicaps in succession before his last-start 10th in the Gr. 1 Livamol Classic (wfa 2040m) at Hastings earlier this month.

“If everything goes well on Monday he’ll head down to Riccarton for the Coupland’s Mile,” said Somervell.

Also on trial for the trip south is stablemate Amun Ra, a candidate for the Gr. 1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 8. Amun Ra will be ridden by Matt Cameron in the Gr. 3 $70,000 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa on Monday.

A son of Ustinov, Amun Ra was fifth in the Gr. 2 DHL Hawke’s Bay Guineas last start and two starts earlier he had finished a highly creditable third in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas Prelude.

Somervell has three other acceptors at Monday’s Te Rapa meeting – Kentucky Son, Anna Kaye and Celebrity Miss.