Reid hoping for a Jewels double
By Michael Guerin
Steven Reid is hoping for a nasty Harness Jewels on Saturday.
Like aggressive nasty. Drivers getting stuck into each other out on the track, unfriending each other on Facebook the next day, food fight in the driver’s room type nasty.
That might be hoping for a bit much but it might be then, and only then, Pukekohe trainer Reid has a shot at a Harness Jewels double.
There is no doubt both Reid’s four-year-old Star Galleria (Emerald) and Utmost Delight (Diamond) are good enough to win their $150,000 divisions.
In fact, give them the appropriate front line draws and they could be close to good things, definitely warm favourites.
But the problem for both is both Star Galleria and Utmost Delight have drawn wide on the second line in their mobile miles, often the kiss of death at Cambridge.
Unless of course Saturday’s races are run upside down, with super fast sectionals early, making rare swoopers victories a reality.
If that dream scenario unfolds Reid is adamant he has the horsepower to take advantage.
“I need them to go hard in both my races or maybe we can’t win, it could be that simple,” admits Reid.
“Mile racing at Cambridge can be hard enough but if you have to come wide and they run home (800m) in 55 seconds it can be impossible.
“But looking at the fields I think we have a chance because they could be really hard run races.” Reid has a point as both four-year-old pacing dashes lack a dominant favourite to lead and deter attackers and they also have enough gate speed and form doubts spread across the front line to suggest early fireworks.
Take Star Galleria’s race. If key rival Eamon Maguire was drawn to lead the race could be as good as over, with very little likelihood of attack.
Instead, he is drawn the second line and Reid hopes driver Zac Butcher can turn his rival into an ally.
“I am hoping Zac can get straight on his (Eamon Maguire’s) back and get a cart into the race, either early or late.” If that happens Reid knows his rep has the raw speed to capitalize, with Star Galleria brilliant at Alexandra Park last Friday while he has already claimed some serious open class scalps this season, including Heaven Rocks when he led and won the Flying Mile on this track in January.
“He is right back to his best but that tempo is crucial. I hope they go nuts up front.”
Utmost Delight looks one of the few horses all day who can come wide and win, being a group one winning mare who looks at her peak in a race where some key rivals have form or barrier draw (Bonnie Joan) concerns.
“She has needed her last two runs to bring her back to her peak, which often my horses do.
“But she was great last Friday night and has really come on with it this week. There looks to be some speed and some aggressive drivers in her race so again, we need that early burn.
“If we get that and she gets the right three-wide cart into the race I know she can win.” As good as Utmost Delight is she has got into very tight odds at $3.50 for a mare with her draw and punters will almost certainly be better waiting to back either of Reid’s pair on the day or on the tote.
Wait, and then hope for some good old fashioned aggression.