Rowe Cup last item on Harry's NZ agenda

Champion Victorian trotter Just Believe will look to complete a clean sweep of his New Zealand assignments when he steps out in the Group 1 Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park later this month.


Driver Greg Sugars said the May 24 feature would be the last across the Tasman this time around for the eight-year-old, who has already won the $600,000 TAB Trot, Group 2 Lyell Creek Stakes and Group 1 Peter Breckon Memorial National Trot during his stint abroad.

"We are just giving him an easy time this week and we'll ramp him up over the next two weeks to get him ready for the Rowe Cup," Sugars said.

"He'll come home and have a bit of a break then."

Sugars said winning a third-straight Inter Dominion crown in December was at the forefront of connections' minds.

"Obviously he's gone through undefeated the last two which was a record on its own," he said.

"I'm not sure we can go through undefeated again – the quality of trotter just keeps rising every year – but the form he's in at the moment, he's still a chance of taking out another Inter Dominion."

Sugars admitted missing Elitloppet in Sweden this year was a difficult decision to make, but wouldn't rule out a return to Europe in 2025.

"If everything's still right with him, he's racing in this sort of form and they want to have us back, then it is a definite, realistic chance that we might go down that path next year," Sugars said.

"This year, we were pretty focused on going to New Zealand and doing that job properly to contest some time-honoured races. When you look at champions like Lyell Creek and so on, they're the races these champion horses have won. We wanted to get our name on the honour roll if we could, and so far it's all going to plan."