Stars step-out in Aussie
By Adam Hamilton
HECTORJAYJAY’S comeback headlines an array of the sport’s biggest name strutting their stuff across Australia this weekend.
The multiple Group 1 winner and 2016 Perth Inter Dominion runner-up returns from almost two years out in a free-for-all named after him at Albion Park on Saturday night.
It’s not an easy task from the outside draw (gate seven), given he’ll almost certainly be snagged back to last over 1660m against some fit and in-form horses around Albion Park.
But it’s so great and, in many unexpected, to see Hectorjayjay embarking on another comeback as a nine-year-old for trainer Jack Butler.
Over in Perth, another comeback star Chicago Bull, steps out for his third run in as many weeks in a 2130m free-for-all.
Like Hectorjayjay, Chicago Bull won’t have it easy from an outside (gate nine) draw.
Sure he’ll be fitter for two runs back and it’s a drop in grade, but he’ll have to do plenty of work from that alley against some fit and handy horses like As Happy As Larry (gate three), El Jacko (seven) and Im Full Of Excuses (eight).
Chicago Bull did most of the work and probably just ran out of condition a bit late when a fantastic third to giant-killer Ocean Ridge and young star Shockwave at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
Just a few minutes before Chicago Bull lines up, arguably Australia’s most exciting pacer, Lochinvar Art, steps out again in a moderate fast-class race at Shepparton.
Victoria’s zoned racing means Lochinvar Art can’t race at Melton, so he’s a league above the horses he will face at Shepparton.
Hopefully the zoned racing ends soon so we can see him against the likes of Poster Boy in Melton free-for-alls before too long.
Poster Boy is zoned to Melton (and Ballarat) so we get to see him race again in the fast-class race at Melton on Saturday night.
The former Chariots Of Fire winner and Miracle Mile placegetter beat a moderate bunch, but smashed the clock doing so at his first run for almost a year at Melton last week.
Greg Sugars dropped Poster Boy out to last and came with one big run around the field from the 1000m, running his own last 800m in 53.4sec to win without being extended.
He’s up in grade a tad this week, but is drawn gate four and should be too good again.