Obscure Aussie clash
By Adam Hamilton
NEW Zealand Cup and Inter Dominion markets could be reshaped by a fascinating clash of two Aussie stars in the middle of nowhere.
The Swan Hill Cup has attracted just five runners, but they include star Victorian pacer San Carlo and Queensland’s pin-up horse Colt Thirty One.
Swan Hill is almost 350kms, or almost a four-hour drive, from Melbourne.
San Carlo and Colt Thirty One clashed just a couple of weeks back in the Group 1 Victoria Cup where Colt Thirty One ran a terrific second after a cosy run behind the leader, while San Carlo was the run-of-the-race in fourth spot after sitting parked in record time.
It looks certain to be San Carlo’s final lead-up heading to Addington for the NZ Cup on November 12. He then moves to Auckland for the Inter Dominion.
Colt Thirty One won’t be at Addington, but connections are super keen on chasing Inter Dominion glory in Auckland.
In contrast to the Victoria Cup where Colt Thirty One drew the pole, it’s San Carlo who the barrier draw edge at Swan Hill. He will start from gate four with Colt Thirty One directly on his outside in five.
San Carlo certainly has sufficient gate speed to drive through, hold-out Colt Thirty One and lead.
The Aussie TAB opened San Carlo at $1.75 and he’s firmed slightly into $1.70 with Colt Thirty One at $3.20.
Emma Stewart’s emerging pacer, Tam Major, who won the Breeders Crown 4YO final in August and ran eighth in the Victoria Cup last outing, is right in the market as well at $3.30. He will start from gate three.
In another Swan Hill highlight, Stewart’s buzz comeback pacer The Storm Inside should continue his winning way and post a slick time from gate four in the Swan Hill Mile.
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TRAINER David Aiken will make the final call on a possible Inter Dominion trip for three-time Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer after he runs at Melton on Saturday night.
Big Jack Hammer has gate six in an intriguing Group 3 Chris Howe Trotters’ Cup. Reigning Inter Dominion champion Tornado Valley is the one to beat from gate seven, but the likes of Maori Law (three) and Red Hot Tooth (five) also command respect.
“He’s 50-50 for Auckland at the moment,” Aiken said. “He’s the only one from our team who could make the trip.
“We won’t take Wrappers Delight because he didn’t really handle the four runs in a fortnight during last year’s Melbourne series.”