Aussie Update - September 9
By Adam Hamilton
A GENUINE half-hour of harness power headlines a massive weekend of racing Australia.
In a stroke of genius, NSW officials have scheduled King Of Swing’s race as the opener at Menangle on Saturday night.
That’s at 5.47pm and just 15 minutes later, Australia’s most exciting pacer Ride High, chases his 16th win from just 17 starts in the $30,000 Gammalite (1690m) at Terang.
Ride High is the lone back row runner (gate eight), but is a class above his rivals and a $1.08 favourite on the Aussie TAB,
King Of Swing will have more of a contest, albeit he should work forward and find the lead over 2300m.
As usual, his trainer Craig Cross has more than half the field (seven of the 10 runners), but it’s the emerging Balraj who will likely work across from gate 10 and then sit on King Of Swing (gate 11).
There will also be plenty of interest in last year’s Victoria Cup winner Bling It On, who resumes from a spell and looked very sharp in a recent Menangle trial.
Luke McCarthy is sticking with King Of Swing as his drive. His father, John, will drive Bling It On and Jimmy Rattray again drives Balraj.
The other Menangle highlight will see Anthony Butt’s emerging Wolf Stride chase his eighth successive win in he fourth event.
Wolf Stride won the Group 1 NSW Regional Metro final before a break and returned with a sharp Menangle win last weekend.
It won’t be easy from a wide draw (gate 10), but he’s still a $1.40 Aussie TAB favourite.
X X X
WA superstar Chicago Bull returns from a freshen-up for what shapes as a stirring clash with the gifted Shockwave at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
After a hectic but hugely successful winter campaign, Chicago Bull has been away from the track for a month, but still has a fitness edge over his major rival.
Shockwave, a winner of 14 of his 34 starts, is first-up since running second at Gloucester Park back on April 24.
Shockwave does have a slight barrier edge from gate six with Chicago Bull on his outside (seven) in the $50,000 Group 2 James Brennan Memorial (2536m).
But it’s not just a two-horse race with Inter Dominion finalist Galactic Star, albeit he’ll be a distant third favourite having drawn outside the other pair (gate eight).
X X X
QUEENSLAND’S best pacer Colt Thirty One returns from a short break and headlines the Albion Park card on Saturday night.
Grant Dixon’s stable star is a class above his rivals, but has the dreaded outside front row draw (gate seven) and may have to do all the work as he’s done in recent minor placings.
In other Queensland news, All Stars gun colt One Change stretched his record to three wins from as many runs in Queensland with a slick victory yesterday (Tuesday).
The Bettors Delight colt did plenty of work early in a blazing 1min52sec mile rate for 1660m.
One Change, now in the care of Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham, now boasts 11 wins and six placings from his 17 starts.