Change of plan for star pacer
By Adam Hamilton
Plans with Aussie pacing sensation Leap To Fame have changed and he will back-up in Saturday night’s $200,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park.
It will mean three major races in as many weeks when he runs again a week later in Queensland’s biggest race, the $400,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake.
Leap To Fame stamped himself as one of the most exciting pacers in the world when he destroyed his rivals in the Group 1 Rising Sun at Albion Park last Saturday night.
He won without being extended by 12m, equalled the track record with a 1min52sec flat mile rate for 2138m and blasted home his last mile in almost unthinkable 1min49.5sec.
Although he will again dominate betting in the Sunshine Sprint, it will be Leap To Fame’s first serious open-class test.
Despite drawing wide in barrier six, punters pounced on his $2.40 opening price and quickly backed him into $1.90.
Jason Grimson’s high-class pair Betterzippit (gate one), winner of the $1mil Nullarbor four starts back, and Inter Dominion winner I Cast No Shadow (gate two) look two of the major threats.
Dual Miracle Mile runner-up Spirit Of St Louis is the other proven Grand Circuit factor of the race, but has to overcome gate 10.
Classy Victorian Mach Dan is right in the mix from inside the back row (gate eight), especially if Betterzippit leads from one and he can trail and use the sprint lane.
WA star Magnificent Storm is also sure to improve on his first-up fifth at Albion Park last week and has gate four.
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Former Kiwi mares Braeview Kelly and Manhattan dominate betting for the $150,000 Group 1 Golden Girl (1660m) at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Manhattan, who has looked exciting since joining Jack Butler’s stable, has the pole and looks the leader. She’s a $3 shot.
Jack Trainor’s Braeview Kelly will follow Manhattan out from gate eight (inside the back row) and look to beat her along the sprint lane. She’s $2.70 favourite.
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Nominal Queensland Derby favourite The Lost Storm will add further to the class on show at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s brightest young star will back-up quickly after returning from a seven-month spell with a soft Bendigo win last Saturday night.
The Lost Storm, a breathtaking winner of the Group 1 Vicbred final last New Year’s Eve, should be far too classy for his rivals despite an outside back row draw (gate 10) in the 10th race this week.
He will back-up for a third consecutive week in the Derby next Saturday.
Stewart and Tonkin will also send their classy Kiwi-bred filly Tempting Tigress north for Saturday week’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks.