Allamericanlover looms large in Breeders Stakes tonight
By Jonny Turner
A monstrous last-start victory should serve as a warning shot for Allamericanlover's rivals of what is set to be a tactical edition of the Group 1 New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes tonight.
Allamericanlover heads to Addington's biggest mares feature after teaching many of her rivals a pacing lesson in the Group 2 Premier Mares Championship a fortnight ago.
Those rivals were left with few excuses when the mare worked harder than any of them in the running before powering to an emphatic victory.
And the word from driver Tim Williams is that she hasn't put in a backwards step since.
"We were hopeful that she was ready to run a pretty good race after she trialled quite well the week before."
"We have been quite happy with her since her win and she should only strip fitter for it on Friday night."
Friday night's random barrier draw has served up an enthralling clash with the top three favourites – Lady Of The Light, Allamericanlover, and Manhattan – drawn beside each other in barriers 3, 4, and 5 respectively.
Allamericanlover's two main opponents have shown plenty of gate speed and a liking for the front during their careers.
Though his charge isn't noted for her early speed, Williams is sure his mare has the early toe to make her presence felt – if he chooses to drive her that way.
"She isn't a mare that has been buzzed off the gate too many times in her career, but I think she definitely has the speed to go forward."
"It will be very tactical early, and it will be interesting to see how things play out."
"Being in front isn't the be all and end all."
"Last start the intention was to drive her with a sit, but things didn't pan out that way."
"She should be a pretty good chance wherever she ends up early."
Allamericanlover is part of a three-pronged Stonewall Stud attack on Friday night's Group 1.
Kahlua Flybye comes into the race after running a strong third behind her stablemate a fortnight ago.
Drawing barrier five on the second row looks the only negative for the four-year-old.
"The draw probably isn't ideal, but with her racing style, it isn't the end of the world,” Williams said.
"She is best driven with a sit at this level, against the really good ones."
"If she gets the right sort of run into it, she can go another good race."
Sweet Diamond also represents the Stonewall Stud team in the New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes.
The mare is only slightly better off than Kahlua Flybye, in barrier four on the second row.
"She has landed in a tough grade coming out of age group racing,” Williams said.
"Her last start was good and showed she is coming back to it."
Early betting saw Allamericanlover move into $2.50 favouritism for the Group 1 New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes, with Kahlua Flybye rated at $10 and Sweet Diamond at $31.