Reid finds out today
By Michael Guerin
Steven Reid finds out today where Star Galleria is really at.
While that could be the case for many of his rivals in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton, for Pukekohe trainer Reid and his speed freak pacer it feels like there is more at stake.
A booming performance today and Star Galleria remains a serious New Zealand Cup player and a horse worth aiming at the Inter Dominions. But if he doesn’t shine, Reid admits he will start to worry.
Star Galleria started this season as he ended last, showing brilliant speed to win and soon after huge money offers were pouring in from Australia.
Reid and his owners decided to keep the five-year-old, who has been beaten in next two — one when luckless, the other fair and square after leading at Methven last Sunday.
Reid is willing to give Star Galleria a leave pass for that defeat as he has missed work on his southern trip and probably had to work too hard to get the lead.
“So I think he will improve with the run and I also think over distance he might be better driven with a sit, not that Tony (Herlihy) had that option last week.
“But if he is going to be a big New Zealand Cup chance he needs to step up and we think he can but drawn wide it is not going to be an easy race.”
The problems for Reid and Star Galleria are two-fold: he is seeking improvement in the same pivotal race as the other main Cup dangers and he has drawn wide.
While the mysteries of standing start mean a poor draw can become a good one very quickly, if all the main players begin evenly then Star Galleria could be midfield on the outer at best, a very tough place to win a Flying Stakes from.
Especially so with star stablemates like Dream About Me, Eamon Maguire and Ultimate Machete drawn inside him.
Dream About Me has been so solid this season with the ace draw and usually good standing start manners she is the one to beat but Ultimate Machete, like Star Galleria, is looking to improve after his fourth at Methven and should be suit by the likely hot speed.
Quite simply, the race could come down to which one of the favourites leads or secures the best run close to the speed.
A similar scenario looks the winning formula in the Flying Mile for the elite trotters today, with Great Things Happen and Harriet Of Mot the big winners in the draw.
If they can lead and trail from the inside two barriers it is hard to envisage any of their rivals being good enough to trot past both of them.
While taking short odds about Harriet Of Mot would have sent you broke over the course of her career she has looked far more reliable so far this campaign and deserves favouritism.