THE final pieces of the Breeders Challenge puzzle will fall into place tomorrow night at Menangle.
Two semi-finals for the three-year-old fillies and two for the colts and geldings will take place, with the first five home in each guaranteeing their spots in next weekend's Group 1 finals.
The colts and geldings will have the first opportunity in races three and four with both looking to be hotly contested.
TITIAN RAIDER is in search of six straight victories in semi-final one for the experienced combination of Harry Martin and Glenn McElhinney. A quirky type who is still quite raw in his racing style, he has gone from strength to strength this preparation showing plenty of versatility throughout. He has some stiff competition however in defending champion BAR ROOM BANTA (pictured) and the well-drawn and consistent ROCKET BOY.
In the second semi-final for the boys CAPTAIN CRUSADER’s gate speed looks a big asset in his quest for success. Coming up with several runner up cheques throughout the Queensland Winter Carnival, including the Queensland Derby, he deserves another shot at Group 1 glory. HY VOLTAGE has shown good ability since joining the Jason Grimson barn but will be forced to overcome a wide gate and ELECTRIC EYE is maybe struggling for his best but more than capable.
On the other hand, both fillies’ semi-finals look to be dominated by short-priced favourites.
Semi-final one for the fillies will be run as race number five and the opening leg of the quaddie, with CHRISSY CHIC at a very skinny odds-on price with TAB. Despite drawing the extreme alley, her heat win at Penrith was ultra-impressive and she blew the cobwebs out at Menangle a fortnight ago in a 1:52.2 mile rate. If there was to be a blow out result, GLAMOUR FOX appears to be flying under the radar and really caught my eye in her heat last week.
ANNTONIA is already a dual Group 1 winner this season and she will be looking to add another next week safely through the second semi-final as race six. Despite having a chequered campaign thus far, the David Thorn trained filly was able to bounce back in her heat at headquarters last week and there is an expectation of further improvement through that effort. MACHS LEGACY ran Anntonia to a length in her heat performance and once again she looks the logical danger.
The barrier draws for the four Group 1 Breeders Challenge finals will be conducted on Saturday night at Menangle and will be shown live on Sky Racing Active.
CAN Amazing Dream bounce back in Saturday’s Flying Brick Cider Geelong Pacing Cup?
The four-year-old mare’s overall record and prizemoney tally of more than $1.3 million dollars suggests of course she can!
Drawing the inside gate of one certainly won’t hurt the mighty mare's chances either, nor will the extra trip of 2570 metres.
Despite being beaten into fourth a fortnight ago when leading in the Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup, her bold front running performance ensured that she didn’t lose any admirers and there doesn’t appear to be the same likely pressure and intensity here.
TANGO TARA has been obliged to do the enforcing while making his way through the grades in Australia, however, he looks to get every opportunity to be driven for his speed after drawing to follow Amazing Dream throughout. He showed his ability to come off speed when charging into the placings in the TAB Smoken Up Sprint and this weekend’s staying trip will suit him down to the ground.
The Group 2 $60,000 pacing cup will be the seventh race on Geelong’s 10-race card tomorrow evening, with several strong undercard features including the Haras Des Trotteurs McNamara Memorial Trotters Cup, the Nutrien Equine Tatlow Stakes for the two-year-olds and the mares in the Angelique Club Pace.
Best of the weekend – R7 N10 @ Menangle – Fairy Tinkabell
Value of the weekend – R5 N2 @ Menangle – Glamour Fox
Brittany Graham is a regular host on Sky Racing and the Sky Racing Active app, plus In The Gig with Ben Way and Gareth Hall every Tuesday night on Sky Racing 2 from 6pm.
The opinions expressed in The Forum are those of the author and may not be attributed to or represent policies of Harness Racing Victoria, which is the state authority and owner of thetrots.com.au.