If trots punters have learnt anything in the past six months it could well be that just about anything can happen.
We’ve seen likely race scenarios shot down in the New Zealand Cup, Miracle Mile, Victoria Cup and Ballarat Cup.
The gradual trend towards horses coming from off the pace in major races has accelerated exponentially.
But that could be the answer to all of Dean Braun’s Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup prayers.
His charge, Im Corzin Terror, is coming off a slashing Bendigo Cup three starts back followed by an unlucky Shepparton Cup fourth and a gritty second in the Pure Steel behind last year’s Hunter Cup winner Mah Sish.
Having been placed outside of the draw TAB fixed odds bookmakers opened the promising pacer at $21 where he has remained in the first 48 hours of betting.
But Braun doesn’t have any issues going in as the underdog this weekend.
“I’m pretty happy with where he is at, he went terrific last week; a few people were potting him but he couldn’t do much more, he ran a mile in 1:53.5 sitting parked,” Braun said.
“I’m not saying he is as good as horses like The Gold Ace but hopefully he can get some of the money somewhere. The draw is a little bit of a worry but I don’t think he should be $21.”
The key which his Lara trainer can well rely on, which his rivals might not be able to match, is his versatility.
If they do drop anchor then Im Corzin Terror won’t be left wondering ‘what if’ at the end of the 3280 metres.
“He can work if he has to on Saturday night; we preferably don’t want to but we know if he has to he can work mid-race,” Braun said.
“The way the race looks like being run is pretty genuine so hopefully we can get a clean getaway and find a spot somewhere.
“I’ve got no doubt with the trip at all, and even though he hasn’t always been driven that way I still believe he is better coming from off the pace in a strongly run race.”
His squaregaiting stablemate Blitzthemcalder will face the sternest challenge of his career in the Group 1 Australasian Trotting Championship final on the same night.
But his trainer isn’t expecting great things of the developing trotter just yet.
In fact Braun happily admits there is still plenty of water to go under the bridge before Blitzthemcalder’s time comes at the elite level.
“It’s his first test in that grade and last week was his first run in three weeks so I’m sure he will derive a lot of benefit from that,” he said.
“It’s a massive step-up in class compared to what he has been racing but he’s come through last week good so hopefully we have a bit of luck in running.
“I think he’s 12 months away from racing these sort of horses really but it’s all a learning experience for him.”
By Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)