Victoria Cup barrier draw
By Adam Hamilton
BRACE yourself for early fireworks.
That’s the obvious after so many of the key runners and fastest beginners, including Lochinvar Art and King Of Swing, drew the front row for Saturday night’s $300,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup (2240m) at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Local star Lochinvar Art firmed from $2.80 to $2.50 favourite after landing barrier four, but trainer-driver David Moran certainly isn’t convinced it’s a great draw.
“The draw has worked in our favour to a degree, but there are plenty of nice horses drawn inside us, Code Bailey (gate two) gets out quickly and so does Balraj (one),” Moran said.
“Cash N Flow (six) gets out of the gate very quick and he’ll be looking to get across, then King Of Swing (seven) is outside him and you’d think he’d be pressing forward.”
It could come down to how much early speed Lochinvar Art can show, especially whether he can muster quickly enough to keep Cash N Flow and King Of Swing to his outside.
“We haven’t had many draws to really use him out, but he’s got plenty of speed when I need it … and we’re certainly going to need it this week,” Moran said.
Moran said Lochinvar Art was absolutely primed.
“I’m rapt with where he’s at. He’s come through that last run as well has any run ever,” he said. “Tomorrow morning is his last fast workout, I’ll be a good hitout. We’ve keep him ticking along pretty strongly since his last run.”
Emerging star Balraj, one of a staggering five Cup runners for NSW trainer Craig Cross, was the biggest firmer ($6 into $3.50) from a perfect draw in the pole.
His stablemate and Miracle Mile and Hunter Cup winner King Of Swing drifted from $3.50 to $7 after drawing outside the front row (gate seven).
Cross others runners are: Cash N Flow (gate six, $8), Alta Orlando (five, $17) and defending champion Bling It On (three, $23).
Now the juggle starts to book drivers with COVID-19 travel restrictions effectively meaning only local drivers can compete.
Chris Alford is most in demand and expected to drive King Of Swing, but he is also the regular driver of NZ Cup winner Cruz Bromac (gate 13, $34) and also drives a lot for the Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin stable which has three runners: Code Black (gate eight, $8.50), Hurricane Harley (11, $17) and Tam Major (10, $101).
In the other feature, the Bill Collins Trotters’ Mile, glamour mares Dance Craze (gate one) and Red Hot Tooth (four) fared best and head the Aussie TAB market at $2 and $3.20 respectively.
Defending champion McLovin is back for a first-up tilt, but now a $17 shot from outside the front row (seven).
While Australia’s trotting king Tornado Valley faces a big test from the back row (gate 10) and is $9 chance.
THE KEY BARRIER DRAWS
1. Balraj $3.50
2. Code Bailey $21
3. Bling It On $23
4. Lochinvar Art $2.50
5. Alta Orlando $17
6. Cash N Flow $8
7. King Of Swing $7
8. Code Black $8.50
9. Rishi $61
10. Tam Major $101
11. Hurricane Harley $17
12. Major Times (emerg, $81)
13. Cruz Bromac $34
BILL COLLINS TROTTERS’ SPRINT
1. Cruisin Around (emerg) $71
2. Dance Craze $2
3. Pink Galahs $11
4. Red Hot Tooth $3.20
5. Robbie Royale $101
6. Sparkling Success $41
7. McLovin $14
8. Wobelee $9
9. Tough Monarch $9
10. Tornado Valley $9
11. Sundons Courage $101