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Aussie Stars To Plunder Cambridge

Just Believe one of the Aussie raiders heading to Cambridge for Night Of Champions - Photo: Stuart McCormick
Just Believe one of the Aussie raiders heading to Cambridge for Night Of Champions

Photo: Stuart McCormick

The biggest and strongest team of Aussie raiders this century is heading to Cambridge to plunder New Zealand's richest race day.

Already, seven Aussie-trained stars, headed by champion trotter Just Believe, are locked in for the huge The Race By Grins meeting on April 12.

Just Believe, who cruised to his 10th win from his past 11 starts at Melton last night, will be joined by star mare Queen Elida, glamour European import Callmethebreeze and emerging star Arcee Phoenix in the inaugural $NZ575,000 TAB Trot.

Last-start Miracle Mile placegetter Speak The Truth will be supported by multiple Group 1 winners Better Eclipse and Rock N Roll Doo as "Team Aussie" in the $NZ 1mil The Race By Grins.

"We created this race night to be a truly Australasian event, so it's really special to see this sort of Australian flavour," Cambridge chief Dave Branch said.

"There's so much great competitive history between the two countries, and this will revive some of the great memories.

"The pandemic halted much of that, but it's back in force. It's been a long, long time since we've had anything like this number of Aussies come across to race here at the same time."

Branch didn't hide the fact that Just Believe would be the rock star attraction.

"We had to wait a while before we got confirmation he was coming, but it's just added so much. He's not just Australia's champion, but as his form in Sweden showed last year, he's one of the best in the world," he said.

"It was great to see him win so easily again last night and prove he's right on target."

"He's the one to beat if he gets a decent draw, but this will be a special race."

"We went out on a limb a bit adding a big trotting race (TAB Trot) to go alongside the Race By Grins (for pacers) this year, but the quality of this field has made it all worthwhile."

"People who've been in the game a lot longer than me say it's the strongest trotting field in this part of the world for at least 25 years."

Aussie-trained runners dominate the betting with Just Believe, the $2 prepost favourite, ahead of Callmethebreeze at $2.50.

It's a different story in the Race By Grins where outstanding young Kiwis Don't Stop Dreaming and Merlin are $3 equal favourites. The most favoured Aussie are Better Eclipse and Speak The Truth at $5.

Just Believe's trainer Jess Tubbs also puts the polish on Better Eclipse, who is returning after finishing fourth in last year's Race By Grins.

"We can't wait to get across. Both are on a flight to Auckland (from Melbourne) on April 3," she said.

"Just Believe did everything we hoped for last night, having a solid run but winning easily, while Better Eclipse has had a few days off after having no luck in his two recent Sydney races."

"Both (NZ) races will be really strong, but we're heading there with a lot of faith in two boys." - Adam Hamilton


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