Classy youngster My Ultimate Byron. Photo by Club Menangle
IT’S the coolest combination in harness racing these days.
And the in-form pair of trainer Jarrod Alchin and reinsman Cameron Hart are ready to put their stamp on the Breeders Challenge semi-finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight.
Alchin admits he used to hate watching his horses from the sidelines and yearned to be out there driving them himself.
Yet, these days he is happy to get his team of star youngsters trained to the minute and be stress-free when he arrives at the track, put them in their hopples and then hand the reins to the laid-back Hart, who does the job on the track.
The pair are on target to grab two of tonight’s four semi-finals and with a touch of luck might even come home with three, depending on how the races are run.
Alchin rates My Ultimate Byron as probably the best horse he has trained in his career and the unbeaten son of Somebeachsomewhere is the shortest-priced favourite on the 10-race program, at $1.10 after drawing perfectly in gate one to make it seven from seven when he goes around in Race 7.
His other hotshot, the classy Madrid will contest the second semi-final for the two-year-old fillies and has been listed as $1.40 as she chases her fourth successive win.
With 144 winners already this season, Hart has a shot at landing a treble for Alchin when he also handles My Ultimate Ronnie ($4) in Race 4, although he will need to overcome the smart Smaltese who is an odds-on favourite after drawing the pole.
“All three, I couldn’t be happy with how they are the moment,” said Alchin.
“Ronnie might struggle to beat Smaltese this week but if he can qualify for the final and they go to war, he’d be a chance to beat both Smaltese and ‘Byron’ with a big finish.
“It might be a bit more difficult tonight as there will be less pressure and they may race in single file.
“He’s a horse that is just getting better all the time and he missed a lot of the early grounding because he had a hairline fracture on his knee.
“We might see an even better horse next year.”
Alchin has a massive opinion of My Ultimate Byron.
“I think he’s done everything we’ve asked of him so far. He pulled up big after last week’s run and I think you’ll see a different horse tonight.”