Derek Balle won’t let Cool Cobber’s hot form sway him from his plans.
Which means the dark horse of the Dominion Handicap will race once and only once during his southern campaign.
The former Southland trotter recorded a monster performance to win at Alexandra Park last Friday, making up five lengths in the straight to grab a very brave Miss Pegasus, who probably lost the race when working hard to get the lead mid-race.
As good as she was, Cool Cobber was better as he started off a 40m handicap and looked to have no chance at the 400m before coming four wide and storming to a nose victory in a 3:28 amended time for the 2700m standing start.
The win showed he is on track for the Dominion and his fourth to Master Lavros in the Rowe Cup last season proved he isn’t outgunned in the big time.
But Balle also believes both Cool Cobber and stablemate Boizel after better horses with their races spaced, so they will dodge the Trotting Free-For-All at Addington on Cup day.
“I think we should stick to our plan, which has always been to make the Dominion the big aim,” said Balle.
“Things could maybe change for Boizel if the free-for-all really fell away but when you look at the depth in the mile at Ashburton on Monday there are going to be plenty of good horses in both races.
“And I think both this horses would be better served just racing in the Dominion.
“But they are likely to go to the Cup trials first.”
Unfortunately for Balle, Cool Cobber would also be better served if the Dominion was at Alexandra Park.
“He is definitely better right-handed but for $200,000 you don’t get to pick and choose so really he has to go down.” As good as Cool Cobber is going, Boizel appears to have lost a length or two since his big fresh-up second to Irish Whisper.
“I think that night have flattened him a bit,” admits Balle.
“I am sure he will bounce back but at the moment Cool Cobber is going better, as we saw tonight,” he said post-race.
With the first two being so good, it was easy to overlook the third placing of Ace Moment.
Not long ago he was battling for his best form but looks to have found it again and when the better trotters head south he looks a good option for punters in this grade.
Beyond The Silence coming through but even with five or six quality southerners coming north after Cup week, there could be some big races with class four type fronts around over the summer.