ANDY GATH may have bigger fish to fry, with Caribbean Blaster continuing his New Zealand Cup campaign this weekend but he’ll still be keen for success with two rising stars at Shepparton tonight.
The first of those, Quadentate, blistered to victory at Ararat on debut before three close-up efforts in some handy three-year-old affairs.
Harness Racing Victoria form expert Michael Polster has marked the son of It Is I a $2.10 chance to break back into the winners list opposing Cool Machrista ($5) and Judyfree ($3.20).
Gath’s second runner, Mach Beauty has also endured a frustrating run of near misses at Tabcorp Park but with the aid of barrier one he too might be on the verge of glory in the meeting’s final race.
A front of the field specialist, he is a $2.50 favourite but will receive stiff resistance from Born Again Sassy ($2.70) who in barrier eight, is drawn to stalk him all the way.
CHAMPION pacer Smoken Up has continued his unbeaten record at the Australian trials, claiming the ninth of 10 qualifiers at Melton on Monday night.
Last season’s Miracle Mile and Victoria Cup winner cruised through the much of the hit-out before reeling off a last half-mile of 56.6 seconds to beat fellow star Decorated Jasper by a neck.
Other impressive triallers at Victoria’s metropolitan home were Craig Demmler’s Chariot of Fire fourth placegetter Classievale and his ex-Kiwi stablemate Pembrook Caesar.
Classievale took out the evening’s final trial in comfortable fashion from the Nathan Buckley and Brenton Sanderson-owned All I Can Be.
Pembrook Caesar, a half sister to Kiwi star Pembrook Benny was equally impressive in her first Australian trial.
AUCKLAND Cup winner Sir Lincoln has become the New Zealand Trotting Cup’ s latest casualty, withdrawn as the result of a badly bruised hoof.
Trainer Ray Green made the agonising decision after it appeared certain his son of Mach Three would miss next next Monday’s Ashburton Flying Stakes.
In other NZ Cup news, Gold Ace has stormed into third favouritism for the Grand Circuit marathon on November 13 after his Canterbury Classic triumph last Friday night.
Superbly driven by legendary Kiwi horseman Tony Herlihy, Gold Ace defeated his old nemesis Terror To Love, who produced the run of the race after sitting parked for a lap.
Surprisingly, Terror To Love was wound out to $3.50 following the race while Aussie hope Sushi Sushi is out to $12 after pulling badly in the same Addington affair.
Two horse race
THIS SATURDAY night Albion Park will host the first Grand Circuit race of the season, the Queensland Pacing Championship, and TAB has isolated just two winning chances.
John McCarthy’s triple Treuer Memorial winner Washakie has been opened a $1.90 favourite, while Blacks A Fake winning stablemate Terrorway is at $2.75.
The two quality pacers finished first and second in last week’s Gold Coast Cup with Washakie too good late after racing on the speed.
Motu Crusader ($8.50) and Captain Joy are the only other horses given serious winning chances in the 2680m mobile feature raced for $200,000.