This weekend we head to Tabcorp Park Melton for Breeders Crown Grand Final night with eight (!) Group 1 races on the agenda.
Chuck in a couple of nifty Group 2 events and a BC Graduate Cup and you have yourself a smorgasbord of top-notch Harness Racing.
A shade under $1,500,000 is up for grabs, ensuring every race will be speedy and fierce.
Here is how I see the pacing events going down;
Race Nine – 2YO Fillies (2240m, $300,000)
Barrier draws mean Maajida has opened up at $1.20 but she’s nowhere near that sure a thing in my books with projected early speed from all over the front line.
Alice Kay is one I think could burn early to look for the front meaning Iolanta, Treasure and even Jemstone could benefit from a hectic tempo.
Emma Stewart has strength in numbers with four participants but Michael Stanley’s filly maps to get the gun run through, but just far enough away from the early fireworks.
(9) Iolanta $8
(3) Maajida $1.20
(5) Alice Kay $13
(1) Rockingwithsierra $101
Race Eight – 2YO Colts & Geldings (2240m, $300,000)
The New Zealanders have faired best here with Perfect Stride (1) and Zeuss Bromac (4) landing the perfect alleys. Word is Perfect Stride may take a sit on his fellow Kiwi.
Dominant colt Be Happy Mach will need to be exactly that, beginning from 13.
He’s capable – but geez it will be a tall task.
Mirragon is always around the mark and Pacifico Dream is a place candidate as he races three-pegs throughout.
(4) Zeuss Bromac $4
(13) Be Happy Mach $2.20
(1) Perfect Stride $4
(8) Pacifico Dream $7.50
Race Four – 3YO Fillies (2240m, $200,000)
All Stars champion Princess Tiffany returned to somewhere near her best in her semi with a comfortable win despite a vicious betting drift.
She’s lobbed gate three here and will be winning.
Miss Streisand and Buzinga will fight for the spot behind the leader whilst Best Western, Enchanted Stride and No Win No Feed can feature on F4 tickets.
(3) Princess Tiffany $1.20
(1) Miss Streisand $8
(5) Best Western $13
(4) Enchanted Stride 41
Race Seven – 3YO Colts & Geldings (2240m, $200,000)
With Hurricane Harley and Jesse Duke dropping out last week, some star power is gone but this is still the premier race on the evening.
Max Delight gets the favours with gate two and his blazing early toe. Stable mates Always Fast, Out To Play and Brevity will likely be on the scene quick ensuring there’s no easy time for Max.
Demon Delight looms as a monster winning hope as does Lochinvar Art IF he can trail up Demon Delight late in the run to the post. Is this the real big one Lochinvar Art deserves and receives ?
(11) Lochinvar Art $3.40
(10) Demon Delight $3
(2) Max Delight $2.80
(7) Malcolm’s Rhythm $11
Race Eleven – 4YO Mares (2240m, $50,000)
Only a moderate bunch of mares clash here but from a winning point of view there are a few to consider backing.
Nostra Villa has returned to something near her best form but she will need to be at her peak to beat these from barrier seven.
Goodtime Heaven (drawn six) will be keen to lead and Art Series is easily good enough. My Harmony Blue can surprise and may be worth a throw at the stumps.
(4) My Harmony Blue $34
(7) Nostra Villa $1.55
(2) Art Series $3
(6) Goodtime Heaven $4.40
Race Five – 4YO Entires & Geldings (2240m, $50,000)
Exactly like the two-year-old fillies final, it’s basically Emma Stewart’s gang versus Mick Stanley’s lone entrant. Major Times (gate five), Tam Major 11) and Maraetai (12) are all comfortably good enough to win with the right run whilst Stanley’s star Rackemup Tigerpie will be hoping to roll forward from gate seven to control proceedings.
It’s unlikely anything outside of those can win but next best are The Black Prince and War Dan.
(7) Rackemup Tigerpie $2.70
(12) Maraetai $5
(11) Tam Major $5
(3) War Dan $7
I’m no trotting expert but here are the rest of my selections on a magnificent night of Harness action;
Race One: (2) Kasbah Kid from (4) Tee Cee Bee Macray, (9) Don’t Hold Back
Race Two: (13) Liberty Stride, (6) Royal Charlotte, (9) I Am Pegasus
Race Three: (7) Ultimate Stride, (8) I’m Daddy Warbucks, (1) Is That A Bid
Race Six: (1) Xebec, (3) Kyvalley Clichy, (8) Kratos
Race Ten: (9) Jaxnme, (11) Dizzysjet, (13) Magical
And whilst I am on a roll… here are a few we like at the gallops on a monster weekend of racing across all codes.
Race Six, No. 3 Vinland $3.20
Race Nine, No. 5 Harrison each way $17
Race Five, No. 3 Libertini $1.70
Race Seven, No. 3 Le Romain $18
Race Nine, No. 11 Reheryn $2.20
Enjoy your weekend of racing and sport!