Victoria Cup night update
By Adam Hamilton
THE biggest news of Victoria Cup night so far has come from outside the main event itself.
Inter Dominion trotting champion Tornado Valley has not recovered quickly enough from a hoof abscess and trainer Andy Gath scratched him today from the Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters’ Mile.
“He’s coming good, but hasn’t made it in time. He’s about 90 per cent right, you have to be 100 per cent for a race like this,” Gath said.
“Now our hopes rest with McLovin, who’s ready to go, but Tough Monarch is the one to beat from his great draw.”
In the Victoria Cup itself, co-trainer Luke McCarthy thinks the barrier draw makes Cash N Flow hardest of his stable’s three runners, ahead of Bling It On and Alta Orlando.
“Just because of the draw. There’s not much between the three of them, but he looks like leading. He’s gone to another level this preparation and will be really hard to beat,” McCarthy said.
“Bling It On is ready, but he’ll probably be three pegs and you need luck at the right time from there.”
“It’ll be hard for Alta Orlando being out of the draw, but if they went hard all the way , he would be the run on horse for sure.”
Top local trainer Emma Stewart finds herself in the unusual situation of having three outsiders in the Cup.
“I’d say Code Black is our best the way the barriers have landed. If they go hard early and he can settle handy, he’ll be finishing it off really well,” she said.
“Shadow Sax will stay off the pegs, push through from the back row and get as handy as he can. At first I thought he was a bit disappointing last week, but the times said otherwise.
“And Tam Major tries his heart out and is drawn quite well. He’ll have to step-up again, but I think he’ll run a good race.”
Trainer-driver Kima Frenning concedes Buster Brady is “up against it” from barrier four.
“There’s some really good horses drawn to be on the pegs and that’s where you want to be in this race,” she said. “I’ll be putting my guy into the race, but it’s going to be so hard for any off us racing away from the pegs given the times they’ll be running.”
Colt Thirty One, the $3.50 Aussie TAB favourite, arrived in Melbourne last night (Wednesday).
“He travelled down well, has the draw suit and we’ve certainly got our chance,” trainer-driver Grant Dixon said.