Draws put Aussies in box seat for TAB Trot

By Adam Hamilton

Greg Sugars knows the enormity of the task ahead for his champion trotter Just Believe.

Despite all the amazing things Just Believe has achieved, Sugars concedes this will be one of his hardest tasks against a stellar line-up in Friday night’s inaugural $600,000 TAB Trot at Cambridge.

“What an incredible crop of horses we’ve got at the moment, especially in Victoria and it’s great to have so many of them coming over here for this big new race,” he said.

“Regardless of the result, I don’t think anybody will walk away disappointed with the race they’ll see at Cambridge on Friday night.”

Sugars knows first-hand how strong the four Victorian-trained raiders are, headed by his own Just Believe from gate three.

“I’ve obviously got healthy respect for all the Aussies. Arcee Phoenix has drawn well (gate two) and is a horse on the way up,” he said.

“Callmethebreeze (gate four) has only had the four starts here (Down Under), but you can’t fault what he’s shown and he was obviously very well performed in Europe before coming here.

“I’ve been very impressed with his gate speed and I’m sure they’ll have him spot on for this.

“Whoever is in front is going to be very hard to beat.”

The fourth Australian, star mare Queen Elida, has the advantage of barrier one as the lone mare in the race, but trainer Brent Lilley has been public in saying she will take a trail “behind one of the big guns.”

In contrast the top Kiwi chances, Muscle Mountain and Oscar Bonavena have not fared well in the draw. Muscle Mountain has drawn eight, with Oscar Bonavena one on the second line.

Sugars said Just Believe and stablemate Better Eclipse travelled well and have thrived during their time in NZ.

“They’re both in a great place, so now we just need plenty of luck,” he said.

Especially with pacer Better Eclipse, who will start from outside the front row in the $1mil Race By Grins.

“His bad luck with draws in NZ has continued,” Sugars said. “He had three runs here last year, including the Grins, and ran well every time without much luck.

“It won’t be easy from out there, but I’m really happy where he’s at and hopefully he gets his chance.”


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