The Petstock table (sponsors of the Ballarat Pacing Cup) were a colourful bunch at Tuesday's barrier draw brunch.
An upturned PETstock dish delivered barrier number one to Metro Mike, putting local trainer Emma Stewart’s outsider on the front row for Saturday night’s feature race.
The PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup barrier draw brunch created a healthy appetite for this weekend’s much anticipated return to Bray Raceway, when a field of 12 will covet the $120,000 Group 1.
Yesterday full tables watched Lennytheshark retain pre-race favouritism despite drawing barrier nine, while fancied New Zealand runner Smolda (barrier five) drew the front row.
Ballarat Trotting Club CEO Paul Rowse said the draw only added to a highly-anticipated event.
“We think it’s one of the best fields of recent times,” Mr Rowse said.
“You always need the New Zealand horses to give you that depth. To have the reigning Inter Dominion winner (Lennytheshark) in that field is probably the icing on the cake.
“It’s got that depth and after the barrier draw this morning I think there are plenty of chances.”
Good Form’s Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden told patrons while Lennytheshark would retain favouritism, it would be far from a one-horse race.
Bonnington said the New Zealand runners would be keen to make it a stayers race to take the sting out of Lenny, while Redden tipped New Zealand raider Smolda on top.
Mr Rowse said Lennytheshark drawing nine had certainly opened the race.
“If Lenny had have drawn fairly good off the front line he would have been very short, and he is probably the dominant horse in Australia at this stage,” Mr Rowse said.
“When the club found out he was coming to our cup we were over the moon – he is probably the benchmark.”
He said any challenger that ran down Lennytheshark would deserve the win, and tipped Smolda and Im Corzin Terror to be with him all the way.
Mr Rowse said all bode well for a super Saturday, which will also carry heats of the VSHRC Victoria Derby and Australasian Trotting Championship.
“The weather looks comfortable and with a chance to win the Trots cruiser, the $1000 Trot Selfies competition and our summer essential pack worth $5000 people will be mad not to be here Saturday night,” he said.
The PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup barrier draw: Metro Mike 1, Hotasel 2, Major Crocker 3, Mossdale Conner 4, Smolda 5, Classy Western (em 1) 6, Franco Nelson 7, Im Corzin Terror 8, Lennytheshark 9, It Is Billy 10, Five Star Anvil (scr) 11, Bling It On 12, Cold Major 13.
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