Two classy juvenile trotters set to clash at Cambridge
By Michael Guerin
Trainer Derek Balle knows a good trotter when he sits behind one and he thinks juvenile Dreams Pat fits that bill.
The two-year-old will be vying for favouritism when he has just his third start in the $20,000 Lone Star Sires’ Stakes Prelude at Cambridge tonight, for which his three-quarter brother Paramount Kiwi is the favourite.
The pair met last start at Alexandra Park and Paramount Kiwi was excellent on debut, wearing down favourite The Moonstone in a 58.4 last 800m to rate just a tick over 2:0 for the 1700m mobile.
Dreams Pat was just looming up to challenge in that race when he galloped and returned to the stabling area with a pulled shoe.
“We don’t know if he galloped because of the pulled shoe or he pulled it when he galloped,” says trainer Balle.
“But he would have gone close that night, even though Matty’s horse (Paramount Kiwi) was very good.”
Before his last start dramas Dreams Pat really caught the eye beating older horses on debut at Alexandra Park flashing home from near last and if he can bring that form to Cambridge tonight he can test the favourite.
“I actually think he will be better left-handed,” says Balle of the half-brother to his stable star Dream Of You.
“He is still learning how to handle the last bend at Alexandra Park but he has always been a bit better left-handed.”
Dreams Pat has barrier one tonight but that will mean little if he is slow away so Balle took him to the workouts last weekend and asked him to show some gate speed to ensure he could stay handier this week.
“He isn’t afraid of the gate and rolled off it quite nicely so I think you will see more gate speed from him.”
If Dreams Pat can perform up to his debut performance he will give Paramount Kiwi plenty to think about in a good opener to tonight’s programme.
Balle also has maiden pacers Heaven High (R2, No.12) and Whitford (R4, No.3) in very competitive races while veteran trotting mare Cool Phelan (R3, No.10) keeps improving and could pick up a race in coming starts, albeit not helped by her second line draw tonight.
The pacing highlight of the night is the Nevele R heat in which Kahlua Flybye finally gets a good draw as she tries to gain revenge over last-start conqueror Mantra Blue.
The latter has been exciting in both her starts since joining new trainer Zachary Butcher but pays the price for her last-start heat win at Alexandra Park by drawing the outside of the gate while Kahlua Flybye gets barrier 2 and will start a warm favourite.