LAST weekend was big, but Saturday night has the potential to be huge for respected horseman Paul Cavallaro.
Competing at his home track – Globe Derby – Cavallaro trained the quinella in the South Australia Cup.
Driven by Dean Girardi, Wrangler scored by a half-neck from his stablemate, Cullenburn, to provide Cavallaro with his first win in the feature.
This weekend Cavallaro will make the trek to Club Menangle to watch Artillery contest an Australian Pacing Gold Bullion Final.
Cavallaro heads the primarily South Australian orientated syndicate which owns the son of Art Major.
Prepared by Belinda McCarthy, Artillery has drawn to settle prominently in the Group One.
“I was rapt to win the Cup last Saturday night and this Saturday could be even bigger,” Cavallaro said.
“He did well to win his heat, has come through the run in top shape and has drawn perfectly in the pole.
“The whole group of owners are pretty excited and hoping he can cause a bit of an upset.”
To be driven by McCarthy’s husband Luke, Artillery is on the third line of TAB Fixed Odds betting at $5.50.
Also a heat winner, Victorian pacer Beyond Delight heads the market at $2.60 from barrier nine.
The Emma Stewart-trained four-year-old slots into seven with the removal of the emergencies.
“It’s a pretty strong field and Beyond Delight is a nice horse, but I’d rate Ideal Dan as the one to beat from three,” Cavallaro said.
“He’s unbeaten from five starts this season and has drawn to make a good go of it again.
“We ran third to him in the Riverina Championship a couple of starts ago and it would be nice to turn the tables this time.”
Elsewhere on the card, a wide draw should do little to prevent Ladies In Red from adding another Group One to her impressive tally.
Successful in her heat when first-up for four months, Ladies In Red is engaged in the other Australian Pacing Gold Bullion Final at Club Menangle.
Although the Emma Stewart-trained daughter of Mach Three has received barrier 10, TAB Fixed Odds have her listed as a $1.55 favourite.
To be driven by Nathan Jack, Ladies In Red slots into nine with the removal of the emergency in what will be the four-year-old’s first start outside of Victoria.
As it stands, Ladies In Red boasts 18 wins and three seconds from 21 starts, with her victories including four Group Ones and a pair of Group Twos.
“She thrived during her time off and has come back in sensational condition,” Stewart said. “I was more than happy with her heat run after four months off and she has worked on a treat since.
“The Final is another step up and the draw hasn’t made it easy, but winning from tough draws is what she does.
“She’s come from the second row to win two Breeders’ Crown Finals, the Victoria Oaks and Home Grown Classic, so like I said, bad draws in big races are nothing new to her.”
Stewart will also be represented by Tough Tilly, which is considered the main danger to her stablemate, and Joanna which is capable of upstaging the pair.
Tough Tilly and Joanna inflicted two of Ladies In Red’s defeats!
First-up for five months when third in her heat, Tough Tilly is the $3.50 second elect after drawing gate seven.
“She did very well in her heat after a long break and is definitely going to improve for the run,” Stewart said. “That said, she will have to against such a strong field.”
Joanna, which was runner-up in the heat, is on the third line of betting at $7.50 from barrier four.
“It’s a similar story with Joanna,” Stewart said. “She was first-up from four months in the heat and has also lifted her game in track work since.”