Great Line-up In Great Southern Star

25 January 2018 | Chris Barsby
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Talk about neighbourly rivalry.

The Gr.1 $300,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star, the biggest and richest event on the Australian trotting calendar, takes places this weekend at TABCORP Park, Melton and it will stir emotions.

A Trans-Tasman clash between the best trotters currently available will take place over the staying distance of 2760m under mobile start conditions, it’s the second leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters.

And both sides of the ditch are well represented.

The host nation possess are strong team loaded with great weaponry while the Kiwis are tried and true at the elite level, plus, they have the runs on the board.

First staged in 2013, all winners have originated from the Shaky Isles while three of the winners were also prepared there but an Australian trained trotter proved victorious last year.

Glenferrie Typhoon, prepared by the husband and wife team of Andy and Kate Gath, defied Auckland based performer Speeding Spur of back to back triumphs when he led throughout in track record time of 1:58.8.

Initially modelled on Sweden’s universally revered Elitlopp, the Great Southern Star originally featured two Group 1 heats with a final all run on the same card before being drastically altered last year with the event becoming a straight out contest.

Millionaire performer Keystone Del is the other Australian trained winner of the event when prepared by Nicole Molander while Vulcan, Stent and Speeding Spur have all tasted success for New Zealand based trainers.

But the locals are ready for a title defence.

Classy mare Red Hot Tooth (gate 3) will command plenty of respect following her last start romp in the George Gath at Shepparton two weeks ago while My Tribeca (gate 12) and Sparkling Success (gate 10) bounce out of last week’s E B Cochran Cup from Ballarat after their one/two finish.

The Boss Man (gate 1), Hey Yo (gate 5), Vincennes (gate 7) and Sky Petite (gate 9) also represent the state of Victoria while quality Sydney trained trotter On Thunder Road (gate 4) will also have plenty of support.

Both Daryl Boko (Finland) and Kyvalley Blur (North America) add that cosmopolitan flavour and both have excellent claims.

Daryl Boko has drawn gate 2 while Kyvalley Blur has drawn gate 6.

New Zealand trained performers are both from the north island with Temporale (gate 8) and Speeding Spur (gate 13) flying the Kiwi flag, both are well known to Australians fans owing to successful previous campaigns.

Fabrication (gate 11) is the listed emergency for the event.

The opening leg of the APG Trotting Masters was staged back in November during Cup week in Christchurch at Addington with the running of the Gr.1 $300,000 Haras des Trotteurs Dominion which was won by outsider Amaretto Sun.

Only Daryl Boko and Hey Yo will contest the Great Southern Star after starting in the Dominion.

The Great Southern Star is scheduled as race six and listed to start at 9.00pm local time.

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