Barring any disasters, Tornado Valley will finally break through the $1million prizemoney barrier this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton.
The evening will be a celebration of the champion squaregaiter, who will become just the ninth Australasian-bred trotter to reach the $1 million prizemoney mark.
By simply crossing the line, Tornado Valley will join fellow greats Lyell Creek, I Can Doosit, Sundons Gift, Speeding Spur, Take A Moment, Stent, Keystone Del and One Over Kenny as those from this part of the world to achieve the feat. Only Sundons Gift and Keystone Del were trained here in Australia.
The Andy-Gath-trained star has drawn barrier four for the Aldebaran Park R C Freestone Trotters Free For All, where he will tackle the in-form Powderkeg (Lisa Miles), long-odds last-start winner Sundons Courage (Chris Angove) and stablemate Monaro Maro among others.
With $480 going to the horse that finishes last, Tornado Valley’s prizemoney tally of $999,797 will swell to seven figures even if he doesn’t beat a runner home.
But Gath isn’t content with simply breaking the million-dollar barrier, he says the horse is there to do it in style.
Tornado Valley, who is an Inter Dominion and two-time Great Southern Star champion, last raced on October 8 at Melton, where he looked all over a winner approaching the home turn before fading to run second.
His reappearance is one of the big highlights on Saturday night’s metropolitan card, which also takes in the Group 3 Alabar Silver Chalice for the four-year-old mares and separate editions of the Youthful Stakes for both the two-year-old boys and girls.
All roads then lead to Gunbower on Sunday for the club’s cup meeting.
The Gunbower Family Hotel Gunbower Pacing Cup and Cohuna Car Sales Bill Poxon Memorial Gunbower Trotters Cup are the two $14,500 features on the card.
Acceptances are taken on Wednesday, with the final fields available around 11.30am.
THE WEEK AHEAD
TUESDAY: Shepparton (night). WEDNESDAY: Tabcorp Park Melton (day), Mildura (night). THURSDAY: Charlton (day), Kilmore (night). FRIDAY: Geelong (night). SATURDAY: Tabcorp Park Melton (night). SUNDAY: Gunbower (day). MONDAY: Yarra Valley (day).