Popular pacer Messini has returned from New Zealand in great order, says trainer Brent Lilley.
This Saturday night’s Shepparton Gold Cup has attracted an outstanding line-up and one of the main acts of the race is the Brent Lilley trained Messini.
Now back in Australia after a fruitful New Zealand Cup campaign, which culminated in him running a brave fifth in the cup before backing up with a third in the New Zealand Free For All three days later, Lilley said the horse had come back in terrific order.
“He had two weeks out after cup week but he has come back in fine fettle. He had a trial at Geelong last week and trialled lovely so I couldn’t be happier with him," he said.
Although not overly experienced from behind the tapes having only five starts out of the stand, Lilley believes the standing start conditions of Saturday night’s race will not pose any problems
“He has had a bit of practice at the standing starts and every time he begins quicker and quicker. He probably began a wee bit too good for himself in the NZ Cup which left him parked outside Arden Rooney," Lilley said.
He has drawn a little awkwardly in five but Lilley is confident he can step away fast and find the lead.
“He doesn’t have to lead but from the draw if he can make a good beginning and jump in front then he likes to roll along at a good pace, but I’ll leave that up to Chris (Alford). I’m confident he will begin quickly anyway.”
It is a tremendous field to do battle Saturday night with a host of super pacers engaged to tackle Messini including Yankee Rockstar, Ohoka Punter, Hectorjayjay, Barimah and Keayang Steamer.
It will be a bumper night of racing as the #RoadToGlory continues with a big 10-race program kicking off at 6.28pm.
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