Old Town Road "will need luck" in Ballarat Cup
By Adam Hamilton
Part-owner Josh Dickie thinks a tricky draw is an ideal draw for Old Town Road in Saturday night’s Group 1 Ballarat Cup.
The emerging Kiwi star will start from inside the back row (gate eight) – most likely behind Rock N Roll Doo – in the 2710m feature.
“For where he’s at, I think it’s an ideal draw,” Dickie said.
“He’s already on the pegs, is assured of an easy run and if there’s no scratchings, we’re drawn to follow Anthony Butt and Rock N Roll Doo.
“Given it’s his first run since the NZ FFA, it’s pretty much ideal.”
Dickie said Old Town Road had thrived since arriving across from NZ last week
“He’s really well. He’s bright and his work has been terrific,” he said.
“I couldn’t be happier with him, but the facts are he’s first-up and he did miss this one lead-up race we had planned back in NZ.
“That said, he’s had a lot of work and that trial with Copy That so he’s pretty close.
“I’m sure this run will bring him on, but he’s pretty close.
“With this run under his belt and another strong workout the following weekend, he should be spot on for the Hunter Cup (February 4).”
As good as Old Town Road looked during Addington’s huge week in November, Dickie knows his two Victorian runs are raising the bar again.
“This is a very strong race at Ballarat, probably the strongest we’ve seen in a few years, and the Hunter Cup should be that bit stronger again with Team McCarthy’s horses added in,” he said.
“It’s exciting. You want to race the best and we think highly of this horse.”
Dickie spoke with his mate and Old Town Road’s driver Zachary Butcher on Wednesday night about the draw.
“We agreed it’s the right draw for this race, but we’re going to need some luck,” he said.
“I do think it’ll be a truly run race, but Ballarat doesn’t have a sprint lane so we’ll need gaps to appear at the right time.
“I’m not sure it’s as cut and dried as some think as fair as the early speed. There will be a few looking for the front.
“And with some big guns drawn the back row, there should be some midrace moves as well.
“It’s an exciting race to be part of and we’ll learn more about our guy in this race and the Hunter Cup, too.”