RISING star Drop The Hammer took another step towards his top echelon debut with an easy win at Tabcorp Park Menangle today.
Confident Drop The Hammer can prove competitive against the nation’s best squaregaiters trainer Darren Hancock has set his sights on the Trotting Masters with the pacing-bred son of Bettors Delight.
Looking to continue racing locally for the remainder of the year, Hancock plans to take Drop The Hammer to Victoria in January.
As such Drop The Hammer is likely to tackle the E B Cochran Cup at Ballarat on January 18 before contesting the V L Dullard Cup in Melton the following week.
Should the gelding perform to expectation Hancock will then take aim at the Great Southern Star in Melton on February 1.
The Australasian Grand Prix four weeks later is also tentatively on Drop The Hammer’s schedule.
“There is not a lot for him here before Christmas as far as features go, so I will just find the right races at Menangle between now and then,” Hancock said.
“I’m looking at going to Victoria after Christmas for a few races, beginning with Ballarat like I did with On Thunder Road a couple of years ago.
“This bloke is coming along really well and it would be good to test him against the better ones.”
Driven by Hancock during his latest win, Drop The Hammer was settled two-back along the pegs as Kowhai Monarch led and the first half of the field travelled in ‘Indian file’, while the second half was a conservative 30 metres away from the front pack.
Angled to the ‘death seat’ along the back straight, Drop The Hammer sustained a strong sprint to complete an impressive 17-and-a-half metre win from Rompers Monarchy, with Amandas Spur three-and-a-half metres away third.
“He had a good trip, and although he did a bit of work down the back straight, it worked out well,” Hancock said.
“I wasn’t that confident before the race because of stand as he’d only had one stand start before, but he stepped away like an old stager.
“He felt enormous down the home straight and won with plenty up his sleeve.”
Owned by Glenn Holland, the five-year-old rated 2:00.1 over 2300 metres to take his record to 12 wins and 11 placings from 35 starts for earnings of $124,285.