Gum Basher set to return to favoured surface

Gum Basher will contest the Henry’s Plumbing Ltd & Design Builders 1200m at Awapuni on Thursday. Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

Gum Basher thrives on synthetic track racing over winter, and trainer Peter Didham is looking forward to seeing her return to her favoured surface in the Henry’s Plumbing Ltd & Design Builders 1200m at Awapuni on Thursday.

The four-year-old daughter of Vespa is hard to get a line on at home, but Didham said she always brings her A-game to raceday.

“She is a terrible trackworker but when it comes raceday she just tries her heart out,” he said.

“There is not much of her, but she is pretty gusty and look at her form – she has had six starts on the poly for two wins, a second, third and a fourth.

“She is always competitive, but it is a bit stronger field than I was expecting. I think the three $100,000 (All-Weather Champs) races have really put an injection into polytrack racing.

“We have got horses coming from up north and I have got a couple staying at my place tonight. It is good to see them supporting the track.

“The last raceday was good, I think we had seven local trainers have a winner each, and hopefully that continues tomorrow.”

Didham said Awapuni’s synthetic track definitely has its place in racing over the winter months.

“You have still got to try horses on there to see if they handle it,” he said.

“I have got a couple of horses that don’t like it and horses like Gum Basher just thrive on it.

“It is working out really well and we have got good, strong fields tomorrow.”

Didham will also be represented by new stable acquisition Reprobate in the Pryda 1400.

“He has only had one start for me, he had a couple of starts up north. We are still learning about him,” Didham said.

“I ran him on the poly in his first start because he had gone a huge trial. I was really pleased with his first effort, we have spaced it on purpose, it has been a month between races.

“He is a nice, big Ace High horse going forward and he will be going on the grass in the next couple of starts, we are just trying to sneak in a win on our home track.”

Ruffhouse Rosie will also represent the stable in the Gary Dyer Painters And Decorators 2140, while stablemates Korolova and Moon Money will contest the Reilly Joinery & Spray Specialist Ltd 1000 and Carters 1400 respectively.

“Moon Money was huge two starts ago when second, and last start she was a shade slow and got dug up and pulled her head off, so I would forget about that,” Didham said.

“She is one of my best each way chances tomorrow.

“Korolova is a speedy filly, but I was horrified by the nine draw, and I wasn’t going to run, but the owners have decided to have a run. 1000m, drawn nine, I can imagine us being in a really bad spot early.”

With Awapuni’s main grass track undergoing remedial work over the last year, the local trainers have spent plenty of time on the road travelling to race at other tracks, and Didham said he is enjoying the reduced commute that comes with racing on Awapuni’s polytrack.

“All the trainers at the gap this morning were talking about it. It is so nice at the end of the day to hop in the car and go five minutes home instead of two or three hours,” he said.

“If we can get the track right here in the next year, have 30-odd meetings on our backdoor step will be great. A lot of our owners are here as well.”

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