Mates combine forces in Newmarket bid

Trepidation with Kelly Myers aboard in her latest win at Ellerslie 12 months ago.

Trepidation with Kelly Myers aboard in her latest win at Ellerslie 12 months ago.

A couple of long-time friends will be combining their talents at Ellerslie on Friday in a bid to turn around the form of the smart sprinter Trepidation.

Trepidation will be having her third start for Cambridge trainer Chris McNab when she contests the Listed $50,000 Hallmark Stud Newmarket Handicap and for the first time the Windsor Park Stud owned and bred six-year-old mare will be ridden by Noel Harris.

McNab and Harris’ association goes back to the former’s days as a jockey when the pair fought out many tight finishes on the racetrack.

After winning several major races, including Auckland Cups on Stylemaster and Drum and the New Zealand Derby on Jolly Jake, McNab turned to training and Harris was often aboard his charges when he was training in the Central Districts.

One of the most memorable wins on a McNab-trained horse for Harris was a maiden event at Woodville in April 1989 on Our Mzuri. A son of Truly Vain, Our Mzuri was the first horse Harris bred and he rates riding the horse to his debut victory as a very special occasion.

Harris has had his share of success on McNab-trained runners over the years and it would give him great pleasure to add the Newmarket Handicap on Boxing Day to that list with Trepidation, who is from a sister to the 1998 Gr. 1 Railway Handicap winner Coogee Walk.

Trepidation began her career in the stable Paul and Kris Shailer and from 13 starts for the Matamata trainers she recorded four wins and four placings. The second of those wins came on Boxing Day 2012 at Awapuni and the latest success was at Ellerslie on December 28 last year.

Between times her placings included a fast-finishing second to Natuzzi (a rival again on Thursday) in the Listed Lightning Handicap at Trentham in March last year.

Trepidation’s first start under McNab’s care resulted in a seventh of eighth in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint at Te Rapa last month in her first starts for eight months.

Having benefited from that run she was an eye-catching and unlucky fifth behind In Style in the Gr. 3 Lindauer Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie on December 6. That day after being held up in the run home, she was late getting clear and when she did she ran on strongly.

It would be no surprise to see Harris unleash one of his characteristic well-timed late charges on Trepidation on Friday to secure victory.