Terrific Terror To Love in bid
One of the greats of New Zealand harness racing is in town for tonight's $50,000 Northern Southland Cup.
Terror To Love is arguably the best to race in Southland since Young Quinn in the 1970s and the legendary Cardigan Bay in the 1960s.
Terror To Love won the country's top harness race, the New Zealand Cup, in November for the third consecutive year.
Only two others have won three New Zealand Cups - False Step (1958-60) and Indianapolis (1934-36).
No horse has won four.
Seven-year-old Terror To Love triumphed in the Northern Southland Cup 12 months ago with a strong finish from the back.
He had eight rivals and two of them - Franco Ledger (third) and Glencoe V C (fifth) - are also returning for this year's edition.
Terror To Love finished eighth in the Miracle Mile in Sydney at his last start seven weeks ago.
He disappointed his connections by hanging and pacing roughly.
He returned to his Christchurch stable, was freshened up and has had one trial to help get him ready for tonight's race.
He won the trial at Ashburton eight days ago.
Driver Ricky May was pleased with the trial effort and knew the superstar would lift for the Northern Southland Cup in Invercargill.
"He rises to the occasion on raceday."
The Mid-Canterbury horseman said Terror To Love was probably the best he had driven.
Other outstanding horses he has been associated with include New Zealand Cup winners Monkey King (two), Mainland Banner, Iraklis, and Inky Lord.
Mainland Banner won the 2005 Cup after having her first start 11 months earlier.
"Mainland Banner was a phenomenal mare," he said.
Terror To Love's co-trainer, Graham Court, is not fazed by the pressure that comes with training a top horse.
"Pressure is only what you make of it. I don't worry about it," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News