Natalie Rasmussen has made a relatively recent return to the driving ranks as the season resumes but she has seen enough to  pin high spring hopes on the Rolleston team. Her report  on the last two meetings at Addington.

Anything Goes: “I’m really rating him so far and I am confident he is going to measure up to the top ones. He worked great on Saturday and goes into  this week further improved.It’s really hard for a horse of his experience taking on the top ones without a lot of race practice- harder than it even seems on paper.But I don’t think it is going to bother him. He’s what I would call an uncut jewel. He has been well looked after given a lot of time to mature and overcome some problems and he is now ready to exploit the potential he’s got. That was a strange race in a way (National Handicap) but when he was wanted he was great. I am looking forward to his spring.”

Major Hot: “I was happy with his run (3rd). Lot better than it looked. He is on the up and is going places. He has strengthened up this time in and knows a lot more about the game. He went into that first up race on one trial.He’s come home in better than 56, paced it out well. He is one who has really gone ahead.”

Mystic Max “I hadn’t had much to do with him apart from knowing what he had done on raceday but I was impressed.He surprised me a bit with the speed he showed and I asked him to go. He is just going to go ahead. Yet to see if he can make the top level this prep (nominated for Dominion Handicap) but it doesn’t really matter because he is going to next time.”

Sinbad: You have to remember he went into that first up race on one trial and that was based because on his early programme as I understand it. Most of our horses have two trials and so his first up replaced the second trial and that changes how it looks. Last Friday was a second race  and when you look at it like that he’s done well, worked up from a wide gate and pushed along (56.3/27.1) so it was a pass mark for me. He’ll be better next time.

And what she saw of Olivia’s drives?

With Style: “I like this little guy.I was impressed with his trial at Ashburton so his run at Addington didn’t surprise me. You have to remember he was running in the top races last time in and he had different drivers and different style races. He’s going to get a better chance  with the race options and he will have a better leadup to the big races. Still got a bit to learn but he’s on my favoured list at the moment.”

No Matter Wat: (Pic)“She’s gone good times but the fact is she is not going to beat the top horses pacing like that. They are hard to beat at anytime but when you are not doing it right  and they make a move on you you are not going to match them.Like I said about Anything Goes people sometimes don’t appreciate what taking that next step to the best class involves and how tough it is on some horses.So she can make the top eventually but she’ll need to sort out a few things to take on the best later in the spring.”

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