Time for the Bartender to deliver
By Michael Guerin
James Stormont is looking forward to getting his stable star back to what works for him at Alexandra Park tonight.
And that could make Hey Bartender the horse to beat in the main pace on the boosted stakes night to end the month.
Hey Bartender has a reputation that exceeds his rating, being tagged as a future open class horse even though he is only rated 59 and has won just three races.
It is hard to hide class though and the way he won one start by 10 lengths then thrashed Cyrus in another suggest he is one of the most promising lower grade pacers in the north.
Stormont tried him from standing starts against the likes of Old Town Road and Copy That early in this campaign and he missed away twice but was better from a stand albeit a close third at Cambridge last start.
But tonight they return to mobile 2200m racing with the ace draw and with Hot And Treacherous and Copy That excluded from the field Stormont realises with a $25,000 stake this is a golden opportunity.
“I wanted to get him going from the stand and he got it right last time but once he got away I had to put him in the race and sit parked,” he says.
“He was very brave in that run and it flattened him a bit but he is well enough for this week and I’d like to think he could lead.”
As good as Hey Bartender has looked Stormont says he has had some soreness issues this campaign, ones he is on top of now so he may actually be ready to live up to his talent.
He meets a handy field including Simply Sam back from his Victoria Derby tilt while Taipo and Last Tango In Heaven have been racing well in strong fields but they are all drawn wide and if Hey Bartender can lead and get anything like a reasonable time over the first lap he is going to take some catching.
On a night with few standouts the $20,000 and $25,000 stakes look enormous opportunities for horses not having to take on the best younger pacers or trotters who are mainly down south for Addington’s big meeting tomorrow, which will be followed by the Grand Prix on Sunday week.
Some of those either fresh up on early in campaigns with upside tonight include Mitch (race 5), Dream Of You (race 9) while Miki Shan looks a horse on the up but in a tidy field in race 6.