Day At The Track

Bling to lead Aussie revival

09:21 AM 01 Dec 2019 NZDT
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Bling It On,Harness racing
Stuart McCormick photo

Luke McCarthy is not making excuses, but simply turning the page on Bling It On’s horror start to the Inter Dominion.

And getting over became a little easier when the draws came out for Tuesday night’s 1700m second of heats.

“Drawing inside the back, behind the likely leader San Carlo, is just perfect,” McCarthy said. “He's eaten-up well this morning and seems great, so I’ve just put last night behind me.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but of course you think about what went wrong. He got too keen in front and hitting a wheel a couple of times didn’t help.

“He hasn’t been in front for a long, long time in a race and he wanted to go and go. He went from cruising to gone in a couple of strides and that’s just not him, never has been.”

Veteran Victorian San Carlo, who was a sound fifth after sitting parked on opening night, should have the speed to lead and show whether he’s a genuine factor in the series over 1700m on Tuesday.

It’s a strong heat thought with two of the All Stars’ big guns, final favourite Ultimate Sniper (seven) and Cruz Bromac (eight), facing big tasks from those wide draws over the sprint trip.

The other two Aussies, outsiders Conviction (gate two) and Our Uncle Sam (four), have drawn well, but would need to improve sharply on night one to stay in contention for a final berth.

Opening night eye-catcher Colt Thirty One gets a slightly better draw (gate five) on Tuesday, but it’s still a big challenge with Chase Auckland (one) and opening night winner AG’s White Socks (three) drawn better.

Victorian My Kiwi Mate was just fair after a good trail on night one, but inside the back (nine), behind Chase Auckland, gives him every chance to get some serious points if he’s good enough.

The other Aussies Atomic Red (six) and Sicario (10) have only drawn fairly and would need to lift on their night one form.

In the trotting series, McLovin will have back row draw to overcome if he rejoins the series after missing opening night with a minor health setback.

Trainer Andy Gath said things look good at this stage.

“He missed two days work, but he will have a bit of a workout Monday morning and that’ll be when we make the final call on whether he’s right to race Tuesday or not,” he said.

He’s drawn to follow out high-profile first night flop Habibi Inta, who absolutely walked out of the gate in that first heat.

The other two Aussies in the trotting series – Tough Monarch and Big Jack Hammer - clash in the second of Tuesday’s heats.

Tough Monarch left connections shaking their heads after he led and dropped out for seventh last night.

He’s drawn for a cosy run – maybe three pegs - from inside the back row (gate nine) Tuesday night.

Tough Monarch follows out series favourite Marcoola (gate one), but Temporale crossed him on opening night and will probably do the same again from gate three on Tuesday.

Big Jack Hammer, who led and ran a sound third on opening night, will need plenty of play a hand in the finish from out wide (gate seven).

“I was pleased with his run. I’d have taken a sit on Habibi Inta, but he couldn’t get into it early so we led and he ran well,” driver Luke McCarthy said.

“He’s probably better with a trail and, realistically, is a length or two behind the best ones.”

 

Adam Hamilton

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