Mixed draws for Kiwi stars at Ballarat

By Adam Hamilton

The two Kiwi raiders Copy That and Old Town Road had mixed luck in the barrier draw for Saturday night’s Group 1 Ballarat Cup.

Dual New Zealand Cup winner Copy That snared gate five, but has lots of speed inside him, most notably former Kiwi pacer Cranbourne (gate three) and Torrid Saint (four).

John Dickie’s rising star Old Town Road will need luck from inside the back row (eight). If the emergency Interest Free doesn’t get a run from the pole, Old Town Road will follow out Rock N Roll Doo, who isn’t blessed with much early speed.

Copy That’s caretaker trainer Andrew Drake said he was thrilled with the star pacer’s condition, but perplexed by the draw.

“I don’t know what to say about the draw to be honest, there’s definitely a lot of speed drawn under him. I’m glad Blair (Orange) is coming across so we can leave that to him,” he said.

“What I can say is the horse is loving it here. He’s coming across a lot fitter than he did last year.

“He’s settled in well. He’s just like he would be at home, very bright, very happy.

“I’ve had a lot to do with him while Ray’s been recovering and I’ve got to know the horse well. The way he’s bouncing up and down and squealing around the place, all the signs are great.”

Part-owner Josh Dickie confirmed Zac Butcher would be across Friday to partner Old Town Road at Ballarat.

It’s important to note there will be no sprint lane on Ballarat Cup night

That makes Old Town Road’s inside back row draw even trickier.

Much focus will be on the first 100-150m where Nathan Jack aboard last week’s Shepparton Cup winner Cranbourne will be trying to hold the lead from explosive beginner Torrid Saint next door in barrier three.

There is also potential speed out wide from Inter Dominion winner I Cast No Shadow (six) and Honolua Bay (seven).

I Cast No Shadow will strip fitter for a close first-up second to Cranbourne last week.

Honolua Bay is first-up since winning all three heats of the Inter Dominion before finishing fourth in the final.

Stablemate Mach Dan also resumes since finishing 10th in the Inter Dominion from barrier nine at Ballarat.

Jason Grimson has three runners with the very exciting Major Meister (gate 12), winner of the Cranbourne and Bendigo Cups, joining I Cast No Shadow and NZ Cup runner-up Majestic Cruiser (11).

Stable driver Cam Hart is expected to stick with Major Meister after his massive Bendigo win.

Ballarat Cup Barrier Draw :

Front row: Interest Free (emerg), Rock N Roll Doo, Cranbourne, Torrid Saint, Copy That, I Cast No Shadow, Honolua Bay.

Back row: Old Town Road, Mach Dan, Triple Eight, Majestic Cruiser, Major Meister, Max Delight.


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