Thefixer ready for Aussie debut
By Michael Guerin
The Australian debut of New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer could hardly be going better.
Now all the five-year-old has to do is win Saturday’s A$110,000 Ballarat Cup.
The Canterbury pacer went missing in action after winning the New Zealand Cup, with his champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen giving him an easy time and dodging the Auckland Cup before he returned with a luckless run at Cambridge last Friday.
But while he couldn’t get into the Flying Mile there because of a bad draw his luck looks to be turning around as he aims at his next target.
Not only has Australia’s best pacer Tiger Tara been a surprise withdrawal from the Ballarat Cup but the field has fallen away in general, with Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal in Perth for the West Australian Cup and Kiwi pacer Pat’s Delight’s trainer Cran Dalgety deciding to miss Saturday’s race.
So Thefixer and stablemate Cruz Bromac dominated the market for the Ballarat feature before Tuesday’s draw and Thefixer was elevated to clear favouritism after drawing barrier three.
While he isn’t known for having the gate speed that will ensure his draw sees him stroll to the lead, Thefixer should settle handy and Purdon wouldn’t be surprised if he does use his draw to reach the top.
“He has natural speed and while he hasn’t been asked to run off the gate in the past I am sure he will have early speed if we ask him,” he suggests.
So the high class withdrawals and his seemingly perfect draw Thefixer opened clear favourite with the Australian TAB and could continue to shorten as punters there love a well-drawn favourite.
Cruz Bromac probably has the greater gate speed of the pair but has drawn wide at barrier six and early tactics will be crucial.
He hasn’t raced since his brave third in the Inter Dominion Final on December 15 but was impressive at the Melton trials last week.
The pair’s stablemate Spankem will be kept to an easier grade on Saturday night as he prepares for his clash with Pat’s Delight in the Bonanza at Melton next week, a four-year-old race that would qualify the winner for the Chariots of Fire in Sydney.
New Zealand will also have reps in heats of the Victoria Derby with Another Masterpiece one of the favourites for a very deep Derby series while Supreme Dominator has also been sent across by trainer Barry Purdon and remarkably both have drawn barrier one in their heats.
Steven Reid is set to take his stable stars Star Galleria and Utmost Delight this week while Nicky Chilcott has Juice Brogden entered in an intermediate grade pacer at Melton on Friday night.
Star trotters Marcoola, Speeding Spur and Amaretto Sun will join the Kiwi team in Victoria from this weekend.