Don’t be surprised to see Deb’s Pal snapped up as a $9000 claimer at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
Because not many claimers can boast a sub 3:19 win for 2700m mobile at their previous start.
The seven-year-old stunned clock watchers when he paced a 1:58.4 mile rate winning at The Park last start, in only his third start in the north with new trainer Derek Balle.
Usually in such a low grade a 3:22 time for 2700m mobile is considered fast and sub 3:20s for the distance are usually the domain of open class performers or age group stars.
And while the time was set up by other going hard in front while Deb’s Pal had the perfect sit, Balle says there is a lot to like about the gelding.
“He is a lovely horse with good legs who tries hard,” says Balle. “And while he had the right run last time you still have to run the times. He obviously isn’t finished yet so at $9000 he would be a good buy. “
But the owner has been realistic so we will see what happens.
“Either way, this field looks a little weaker than what he has been racing so he will be hard to beat again.”
Balle has another big chance on Friday with a different last-start Alexandra Park winner in Bruno Paillard.
The big trotter only won a maiden off a 30m handicap last start and rises to class two and faster company this week but Balle is adamant he can win again.
“He is a bit of a big dummy but I am sure he will be at least a couple of lengths better this week.
“He has a good motor on him so has to be a good chance again.”
The Franklin meeting has smaller fields than have been the case at Alexandra Park recently, with some of the two and three-year-olds who were racing at the end of last season having headed to the paddock.
But there are still some good betting races, with impressive last start winners Royal Taz and Pricillas Girl to clash in race five.
And one of the better bets of the night looks to be Tangos Delight in race six, where she drops back from the recent mares speed series where she had no luck.


By Michael Guerin
Courtesy HRNZ ‘Harnessed News’