Tornado's biggest challenge

By Adam Hamilton

ANDY Gath openly admits this is by far Tornado Valley’s biggest test.

There’s no question the line-up Tornado Valley faces in Saturday night’s $250,000 Group 1 Great Southern Star is significantly strongly than the rivals he beat to snare the Inter Dominion crown last month at Melton.

And that’s largely because of the presence of NZ’s best trotters, Marcoola.

“Marcoola may simply be a better horse than Tornado Valley, at the very least I’d have to say he’s on par on what I’ve seen him do in NZ,” a frank Gath admitted.

“He’s a seriously good trotter and when you throw in Temporale along with Speeding Spur, Tough Monarch and others, this is certainly the biggest test Tornado Valley’s had.

“But we’re looking forward to it, especially now he’s drawn well.

“I think he’ll lead, but we’re expecting pressure and I think he’s up to it.

“We think he’s clearly better than Glenferrie Typhoon, who copped pressure all the way and still won a Great Southern Star. Tornado Valley is stronger and a much better racehorse.”

But Gath admits to being surprised at how short Tornado Valley is in Aussie TAB markets at $1.50.

“It’s hard to see why he should be shorter than the Inter Dominion when he’s only won his past two starts by a metre and this is such a stronger field,” he said.

“If the best Marcoola turns up, I’m sure the fans are in for a fantastic contest and there’s certainly enough other really good horses in the race to come and beat us both if the race is run to suit them.”

Gath sharpened-up Tornado Valley with a Melton trial on Tuesday.

“We skipped the race at Ballarat last week and decided to go to the trial instead. He hit the line well and it’s right where we want him,” he said.

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