South Coast Arden "ready" for The Race

By Michael Guerin

Brent Mangos has fired the first tactical shots of the $900,000 The Race at Cambridge on Thursday with South Coast Arden.

Which means if the Pukekohe trainer-driver gets his way his second favourite could be settling a long way in front of favourite Self Assured in the big-money slot race.

The two favourites drew potentially the worst two barriers when South Coast Arden got barrier 7 and Self Assured the outside of the gate barrier 8 for the 2200m mobile.

Self Assured’s trainer-driver Mark Purdon says he expects to pull back at the start and move into the race later, tactics he also expected from Mangos on South Coast Arden.

Mangos has other ideas.

“I will be working forward.”

“I will make my mind up how fast that happens after 50m when I see what is happening inside me but I have to go forward.

“So that could be nice and easy early and let them sort themselves out and then roll forward or maybe a little quicker than that.”

South Coast Arden beat Self Assured twice over the summer when able to lead, including in the group one New Zealand Free-For-All at Addington.

He also led to produce the performance of Jewels day last June when he bullied his way to the front from barrier 7 over 1700m and with the potential some of the Australian speedsters drawn inside him could be happy to trail South Coast Arden, an aggressive Mangos has a shot at getting the lead.

That would completely change the dynamic of The Race by Grins and potentially force Self Assured to come sit parked in the middle stages, his least favourite tactic and similar to what he was forced to do when South Coast Arden beat him on both occasions.

Mangos says South Coast Arden is exactly where he needs to be for Thursday inaugural running of The Race, his preparation having been topped off by a trial at Cambridge last Thursday.

“I couldn’t have asked him to trial any better than he did last week so he is ready.”

South Coast Arden is on second line of betting at $4.50 for Thursday, with Self Assured remarkably not budging from his pre-draw price of $2.40 even after drawing the worst possible barrier.

“We didn’t want to move him too much because we think punters will come later in the week for the Purdon factor,” said TAB bookmaker Matt Peden.

“The futures betting on The Race has been massive and the interest very high so it is definitely created far more of a buzz than we probably expected.”

 

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