Thorndon start confirmed for Habit

Somervell Lee 7810s (427x640)Lee Somervell has confirmed the Gr. 1 $200,000 Harcourts Thorndon Mile at Trentham on January 23 will be the next assignment for his stable star Addictive Habit.

The Cambridge trainer (pictured) was originally uncertain over the trip south with the Gr. 1 Livamol Classic winner but after a call to the handicapper he is happy to tackle the 1600-metre feature.

“With him being so high in the ratings I was worried about his weight, but under the set weights and penalties conditions the handicapper has assured me he will get 58 kilos,” said Somervell. “That’s a fair weight for him so he’s going.”

Addictive Habit, at 109, is second only to Kawi (112) on the current ratings in New Zealand and his three wins from seven starts this season have all been in black-type races.

He started the ball rolling with his win in the Gr. 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa then after a game fourth to Kawi and Ryan Mark in the Gr. 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes he won the Livamol Classic and two starts later captured the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile for the second year in succession.

Addictive Habit’s latest outing resulted in a fifth behind Kawi in the Gr. 1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and Somervell is happy with his progress since the weight-for-age mission.

“He’s come through it well. I couldn’t be happier with him,” said Somervell.

Stablemate Stradivarius will miss the Gr. 1 BMW NZ Derby at Ellerslie on March 5 after tailing the field home in a restricted 75 1200 at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

“He’s been gelded and turned out so he’s out of the Derby,” said Somervell. “He can have a good break and I’m sure he’ll bounce back. He just needs to get his mind on the job.”

Stradivarius’ efforts this season include a third to Serena Miss and Amarula in the Gr. 2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa.