Running for second
By Michael Guerin
As good as Pats Delight has been during this Inter Dominion series trainer Cran Dalgety admits he is probably running for second tonight.
And that will be fine by him as the heats of the series draw to a conclusion at Cranbourne.
All five heats, two for the trotters and three for the pacers, have red hot favourites and it is hard to make much of a case for any of them to get beaten.
Tornado Valley (first trotting heat) and Speeding Spur (second) look set to lead and win, with more interest in which one draws inside the other for next Saturday’s final when the draws are made on Monday morning.
The pacing heats also have three hotpots, two of them Kiwi-trained in Spankem (first of tonight’s pacing heats) and Cruz Bromac (last) while Tiger Tara looks like leading and winning the middle heat.
But while Cruz Bromac is expected to do the same, he at least has a quality fellow Kiwi opponent in Pats Delight, who has been one of the surprise packages of this series and has emerged as one of maybe only five winning chances in next Saturday’s A$500,000 final.
“He has been super and is thriving over here,” says trainer Dalgety about the Canterbury four-year-old.
“I’m glad we made the choice to come, it was very up in the air at one stage, because he is loving the racing style here and I think the trip will make him.” After smashing his opponents, and the clock, winning his heat at Ballarat on Tuesday it is impossible to completely dismiss Pats Delight even from his second line draw over the 2555m mobile but Dalgety is realistic about the task ahead.
“Cruz Bromac looks the leader and to be honest the winner,” he says.
“And the way he is racing and knowing Natalie (Rasmussen) won’t hand up there is no point us taking off and sticking it to him mid race.
“So we might end up parked and if we did then second would probably be a good result.”
Cruz Bromac is looking to go through the heats unbeaten and his already high chances improved when veteran Franco Nelson, who looked his only potential rival for the lead, was scratched out of the series yesterday.
While four of tonight’s hotpots should lead and win the most interesting heat tonight should be watching how Spankem overcomes his second line draw.
He has at least some genuine competition in fellow heat winners Wrappers Delight and Galactic Star but if he races up to his two huge performances in the series so far he should win and could even be close to favourite for the final should be draw well on Monday.