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Final horse confirmed for $1m Race by Grins

The final runner for The Race By Grins, South Coast Arden
The final runner for The Race By Grins, South Coast Arden

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

South Coast Arden has returned home to New Zealand, ahead of what will be his second tilt at The Race By Grins at Cambridge on Friday, April 12.

His inclusion means the 10-horse field for the $1m race is now complete.

The seven-year-old will race in the slot secured by Kennard Bloodstock, who just happen to be part of the gelding's ownership group.

"It's pretty clean isn't it?," says Philip Kennard of the arrangement.

"We did look at other horses, we ran second in one of them and the other was not coming so we thought 'South' was the best option," he says.

"He's got winning form at Cambridge and has been going super in Australia."

Before leaving for Australia the son of Somebeachsomewhere won 13 races in this country including two at Cambridge - one was the 4YO Emerald at the 2021 Harness Jewels.

In the first edition of The Race by Grins in 2022 South Coast Arden finished fourth, behind Self Assured, Majestic Cruiser and Spankem.

After being just behind the best pacers on this side of the Tasman the decision was made for him to go to Paul Fitzpatrick in New South Wales in February last year.

He's since had six wins over there and just recently has been up against many who will be race rivals in The Race by Grins - the likes of Merlin, Rock N Roll Doo, and Speak the Truth.

"He's been going 1:48 - 1:49 in the last six or seven starts at Menangle and hasn't had a lot of luck along the way," says Kennard.

So can he be a factor in the country's richest race?

"When you look at a horse like Don't Stop Dreaming, he looks a stand-out but you could throw a blanket over the rest," says Kennard.

"It will be very draw dependent I think."

South Coast Arden arrived back in New Zealand on Sunday night for what will be a three race campaign. He will be prepared by Matthew White at his Clevedon base.

White won't drive the horse at Cambridge in the Group 2 Flying Mile on April 4 due to suspension but will return for The Race by Grins (April 12) and the Group 1 Taylor Mile at Alexandra Park on April 26.

A driver for the Flying Mile is expected to be confirmed in the next few days.

South Coast Arden's inclusion means that all slots have been taken for the big race.

The 10 confirmed starters are (in alphabetical order) : Better Eclipse, Don't Stop Dreaming, Mach Shard, Merlin, Old Town Road, Rock N Roll Doo, Self Assured, Sooner The Bettor, South Coast Arden, Speak The Truth.


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