Stepping out another HB hope

Trudy Thornton returning to scale after winning on Celebrity Miss on Auckland Cup Day. (Photo: Wally O'Hearn).

Trudy Thornton returning to scale after winning on Celebrity Miss on Auckland Cup Day. (Photo: Wally O’Hearn).

Lee Somervell showcased the class of one Hastings spring carnival contender last weekend and tomorrow he wants to do the same with another.

The Cambridge trainer produced Addictive Habit to score a tenacious win in last Saturday’s Gr. 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa, despite the six-year-old gelding being posted three-wide in running on a track that favoured runners on the fence.

The upshot of that win is that Addictive Habit is now an $8 equal fourth favourite for Saturday week’s Gr. 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings.

Somervell also has Celebrity Miss entered for the Makfi but at 26th on the order of entry for the weight-for-age race (which has a field limit of 16), he has resigned himself to the likelihood that she won’t get a start and opted for the alternate option of contesting tomorrow’s Harrison Lane Mile at Ellerslie.

“There was only a slight chance she would get in the Makfi and this is a $40,000 1600-metre race so it’s a good alternative,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a soft option because no race is easy but we thought if she could win this one, or at least run in the first three, that would boost her ratings points and give her a better chance of making the field for the last two legs. She’s a horse with a lot of potential ”

A winner of five of her 18 starts, five-year-old Celebrity Miss surprised even Somervell with her late dash along the inside for her fresh-up win at Otaki last month.

“She’s come through that win very well,” said Somervell. “She didn’t really have that hard a run. She looks well in at the weights on Saturday with 54 kilos with John Gray in there. He’s got 59 to carry.”

Meanwhile, Somervell has confirmed Sam Spratt will retain the ride on Addictive Habit for the Makfi Stakes.

“Addictive Habit has done very well. I gave him two days off after the race but he was quite irritated by the second day. He doesn’t like seeing the truck go off to the track without him. He’s certainly earned a lot more respect with his win the other day.”

– NZ Racing Desk