Kiwis at Menangle Tuesday
By Michael Guerin
The first four races at Menangle on a quiet Tuesday afternoon usually slip by without a lot of interest on this side of the Tasman.
But then again they rarely contain two Harness Jewels winners and a Sales Series Trot star.
So today’s mid-afternoon Sydney harness should not only be worth a watch but also provide a valuable guide to the rich Breeders Crown in Victoria on August 25.
The meeting is headlined by unbeaten juvenile pacing filly Princess Tiffany (race three) and fellow Jewels winner Another Masterpiece (race four).
Princess Tiffany meets some handy two-year-old rivals but is so brilliant anything but a victory would be disappointing, especially as trainer Mark Purdon has been thrilled with her preparation.
Rivals like Regulus have shown themselves to be good 1:55 mile juveniles but Princess Tiffany came from last to win her Jewels untouched in 1:54.2 suggesting she will remain unbeaten.
To split his pair Purdon has put Another Masterpiece in a maiden race but oddly he ends up against former talented stablemate Gentle Giant, who was a Ashburton feature raceday winner for the All Stars last October and could have been expected to go further in life than he has.
So while he might have to pace 1:55 for his mobie mile, Another Masterpeice has gone two seconds faster than that and should also jog home.
The programme kicks off with Show Gait, who has been travelling with the Purdon-Rasmussen team, making her Australian debut in a lower grade standing start 2300m trot.
The Sales Series winner has shown high speed for a three-year-old trotting filly but trainer Regan Todd says she is still peaking.
“My aim is to have her spot on for the Breeders Final so she has to be a little bit underdone but she is definitely improved since she got here,” says Todd.
“It is a lot warmer here than at home (Canterbury) and it has really brought her on.
“And her race being 2300m and a stand suits better than some of the mad miles over here.”
To add to the strong Kiwi flavour at the meeting former northern pacer Bettor Step Aside makes his Australian debut in race five after being sold out of the Derek Balle stable and looks ideally placed.