Third time Group One lucky bid for Habit?

Surely smart Cambridge galloper Addictive Habit will now finally get a spring Group One tilt.

The Lee Somervell-trained four-year-old has been left on the ballot list for both the first two legs of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Triple Crown – the Makfi Challenge Stakes last month and yesterday’s Windsor Park Plate – and has had to settle for lesser races on the Hastings cards.

Despite winning the $40,000 Stella Artois Premier Mile on Makfi Challenge Stakes day, Addictive Habit fell short in the race for a place in the final line-up for the Windsor Park Plate, but by carrying on his winning way in the $40,000 Livamol Classic Prelude (2000m) he should surely have now done enough to tackle the final leg, the Gr. 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic (2040m) in a fortnight.

Somervell took the fact Addictive Habit missed a Group One start yesterday on the chin, but now he’s looking forward to the son of Colombia getting his big chance next month.

“Small fish are sweet,” said a delighted Somervell as he watched Matt Cameron head back to the winner’s enclosure with Addictive Habit. “We would have loved to have got a start in the big one (the Windsor Park Plate). Maybe he’ll get a crack the last day.”

Addictive Habit has won his last three starts and the winning streak could be four had he not been relegated from equal first to second in the Listed Woods Group Taumarunui Gold Cup at Te Rapa on July 5.

After showing much promise in his first season with a debut juvenile win at Tauranga and a second in the Listed Brancott Estate Ryder Stakes, Addictive Habit went through the first half of last season without a win, though his placings included seconds to Habibi in the Gr. 2 Stella Artois Great Northern Guineas and Gr. 2 The Sound Championship Stakes.

He hit peak form again last autumn when winning at Ellerslie and after a couple of seconds he won again (also at Ellerslie) before making his mark over ground with placings in the Foxton, Kiwifruit and Taumarunui Cups.

His consistent form has seen him climb in the weights and yesterday he was brave when carrying 59kg to victory in a last-stride bid over fellow Cambridge galloper Blizzard with Arizona Jazz, another from the Cambridge centre, a game third.

“He never knows when to give in,” said Somervell, whose sentiments were echoed by his rider.