Ballarat: Saturday, January 23
Bray Raceway – Track Circumference: 1000m
Straight: 248m. Track Record for 2710m: Restrepo 1.56.8
IMPORTANT: NO SPRINT LANE. Front line: 7 runners.
RACE 8- BALLARAT PACING CUP – 2710m 10:00pm EDST
2013– Mah Sish
2012– Highview Tommy
2011– Stunin Cullen
2010– Cincinnati Kid
Runner & Comment
- Metro Mike: Has the gate speed to lead off the gun draw but at this level is more likely to take a sit. Rough place chance if they run a solid tempo early but without a sprint lane, if it is a sit and sprint affair up the straight, looks tested to run a place.
- Hotasel: Should get a good trip in the running line, will need to be driven for luck. I doubt he has the class for this.
- Major Crocker: Gets the draw to use his gate speed and with the inside two not likely to get in a speed battle early, should be able to find the pegs. No sprint lane in operation and I would be shocked if Nathan Jack handed up. Right in this.
- Mossdale Conner: Prefers the mobiles, and showed speed last time he was in drawn in one, albeit on the grass track. Should get to the spot outside the leader and I doubt he will be keeping that position. NZ form is consistent enough but will need to be at his best.
- Smolda: Purdon star that always performs well when he comes to Australia. I am unsure about the map and just get the feeling with a lap to play, he will either have Lennytheshark on his back, or be giving him too big a start. Looks a big risk.
- Classy Western (1st Emergency): Will start triple figure odds in this if he gets a start. Clearly outclassed.
- Franco Nelson: The third of the Kiwi raiders and with his gate speed, should spear across at the start. I don’t think he will cross Major Crocker, and from the breeze, will continue to get shuffled back mid-race as differing horses come to the death seat. Keen to Lay.
- Im Corzin Terror: Last start Hamilton Cup winner from the soon to be defunct (in Victoria) standing start. Will be caught on the pegs and need to be driven for luck. Place best at this level.
- Lennytheshark: Has had a brief let-up after winning the Interdominion final in Perth mid-December. Has versatility but my guess is he will just come to the breeze at some stage and grind it out. Wouldn’t want to take too short odds, but clearly the one to beat.
- It Is Billy: Crowd favourite and recent Geelong Cup winner. Looks vulnerable in this type of race, and will need to get a lot of luck. Has ability but doesn’t look suited with this speed map.
- Five Star Anvil: Has ability but goes best when driven on the pegs. Should go directly there, and be three or four pegs back and need luck. Place chance at best.
- Bling It On: Multiple Derby winner that is racing in super form. This is clearly his biggest test to date, will probably have to be saved for one run. Place chance if the tempo is on.
- Cold Major: Performed only moderately in the Interdominion series, looks tested from the extreme draw here. Will be huge odds and would need a catastrophe up front to find a place.
The draw has created much interest in this edition of the Ballarat Cup. Interdominion winner LENNYTHESHARK is clearly the horse to beat, but drawn off the back line he will have to make a move at some stage to get to the death seat, if he gets there comfortably he should just be too tough. SMOLDA is a champion from New Zealand that has shown his best on our shores before, the map just looks against him here, and with the likelihood of him starting close to favourite, he looks a good lay. MAJOR CROCKER should be the leader, and if he’s left alone early by the Kiwi’s FRANCO NELSON and MOSSDALE CONNER, he should look the winner for a long way. Hard to see anything else winning, and betting should revolve laying the Kiwis.