Big challenge for Kiwis in Crown semis
NZ HARNESS NEWS
AUSSIES have become accustomated to the All Stars’ barn dominating our feature races, but this year’s Breeders Crown looks a different story.
Not only is the All Stars barn’s raid light on numbers, but the opposition is so strong they face a real battle to win any of the pacing finals.
Dominant Harness Jewels winner Our Princess Tiffany (as she races as in Australia) will have to be right at her top against arguably Australia’s best juvenile filly, Kualoa, in their semi-final.
Our Princess Tiffany (gate four) is the Aussie TAB’s $1.80 favourite to win the final, but may to have parked outside the classy and tough Kualoa (three) given their respective barrier draws.
The barrier draw has also made life harder for another of the Allstars’ Jewels winners Imanothermasterpiece, who has the back row (gate nine) against Vicbred and Australian Gold champion Centenario (gate three).
The most anxiously anticipated semi of the night will see Australia’s most-hyped pacer Ignatius, a winner of 16 of his 17 starts, faces his biggest test.
Ignatius has gate five against three other feature race winners this season, headed by NSW Derby and Vicbred winner Poster Boy (gate six). Tasmanian Derby winner Maraetai is drawn two and Queensland’s South-East Derby winner Duplicated drew barrier three.
The other three-year-old semi is a cracker as well with Victoria Derby winner Colt Thirty One draw gate three, the untapped Ride High out in 12 along with the classy Konan (one) and Major Times (13).
Emma Stewart, who looks set to dominate the night, has perhaps her strongest hand in the last semi for juvenile colts and geldings with big guns Hurricane Harley (gate three) and NSW Breeders Challenge winner Hardhitter (six).
Their rivals include Tim Butt’s recent high-priced purchase from the NSW Riverina, Whereyabinboppin (gate two) and Bathurst Gold Crown winner College Chapel (one).