Guerin looks at the Addington feature race
Best bet: Double O Heaven (Alex Park, R9): Huge drop back in grade to weak maiden race. Should be a good thing.
And another: Majestic Hurricane (Alex Park, R1): Has been racing in Trotting Derbys and back to maidens. First leg of your multi bet.
Finger crossed: The Lone Ranger (Alex Park, R8): Manners make him painful to follow but has the ability to overcome second line tonight.
By Michael Guerin
Punters should be careful getting carried away with star juvenile Jesse Duke in the $200,000 feature at Addington tonight.
Because the exciting pacer might be the best freshman in the country, that doesn’t mean he is screwed down to win the richest race of the weekend.
Jesse Duke has been stunning in two of his three wins this season and his only defeat came when he was checked into a gallop.
But his path to tonight’s Sales Series Pace has been anything but smooth and that, added to a second line draw, mean his opening price of $1.60 could way prove to be way too short.
Last season’s yearling sales topper copped a virus that was doing the rounds at Auckland Cup time and fell in to win his next start at Addington six weeks ago.
He was then given a break and trialled well without dazzling last week.
“He has definitely come on since then and we are a lot happier with him,” says champion trainer Mark Purdon.
“But because he has missed some racing and our other horse (Another Masterpiece) has improved in that time there isn’t much between them.
“We have all seen how good Jesse Duke has been but on their work together on Monday morning I can’t split them.” Another Masterpiece may not have Jesse Duke’s sheer class but he has what at least looks to be a better draw at four on the front line as opposed to Jesse Duke’s two on the second line.
“It could be a good draw or a bad one as he probably has to go forward and there could be a lot of speed.
“So that early tempo will be crucial but I don’t favour one of ours over the other.” With the All Stars domination of recent juvenile riches being almost complete it is rare northern youngsters snare a major Addington baby race but they have numbers and class on their side tonight.
Stablemates Star Of Montana (1) and Supreme Dominator (second line) are both up to winning if things went their way while Beaudiene Western (barrier three) has been brave all season and races like Addington will suit, although he might be a horse who makes the race for another by applying the pressure.
Major Express, who beat all three mentioned above at Cambridge last start, has been cruelly handicapped by drawing the outside of the front line for trainer-driver Brent Mangos.
Horses coming out of age group fixtures dropping back into the grades at the one to follow at Alexandra Park tonight as the two premier tracks both race tonight.
Majestic Hurricane (race one) has been racing in the Trotting Derbys but drops back into maiden grade tonight so only a lack of manners would see him beaten.
Something similar looks likely in race five where Forget The Price Tag and All American are also recent Trotting Derbys runners falling well back in grade.