Draws go against two of Friday's favourites
By Michael Guerin
Some of harness racing’s young guns are going to need to get even better to repeat their winning performances from last week at Addington’s massive premier meeting on Friday night.
Few doubt Akuta (male pacer) and Highgrove (trotter) are the best two juveniles of their crop right now after their dominant victories at the first leg of Addington’s premier double header last Friday but their tasks look significantly tougher this week.
Both have drawn the second line in their features on Friday, with Akuta facing a really tricky trip from three on the second line in the $150,000 Garrards Sires Stakes Final over the 1980m.
While he was able to lead and win last week he is going to have to loop the field to do so again and his task has been made even more difficult by the fact Cosmic Major, who chased him so hard in finishing second last Friday has drawn barrier five this Friday.
That could well see the pair reverse their positions in the market this week and possibly in the winner’s circle.
Highgrove’s second line draw in the Lone Star Sires’ Stakes Trotting Championships is nowhere as difficult as two-year-old trotting races tend to be far looser, slower and with more mistake makers.
But Highgrove still faces giving his runner-up in last week’s Harness Million, Wy Fi and the likes of Mystic Max and Ellaria Sand a start in the early stages.
One favourite who is drawn better than when she won last week is Bettor Twist, who will be long odds-on in the $150,000 The Breeders NZ Oaks in which she still start from barrier five.
The front line possesses plenty of speed but with Bettor Twist looking to be in the zone she should still have too much stamina for most of her rivals.
Friday’s meeting also sees the three-year-old Harness Millions Trot, the return of Jewels four-year-old Ruby favourite Muscle Mountain and the Winter Cup which looks South Coast Arden’s to lose.