This is another of our previews for harness racings big day this Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Before we start we would like to wish Harvey Kaplan all the best with his two outstanding three year olds.
It is a notable achievement to have two huge chances on a day as big as this.
3 Year Old Pacing Fillies Breeders Crown Final
Before the semi finals at Ballarat last Saturday night, this division had a ready made favourite in Nike Franco but after an early gallop she only ran fourth in her semi final and gave her opposition renewed confidence that she was beatable.
Now with Nike Franco having drawn at four on the second line in the final, the result is not as clear cut as it seemed just a week ago.
Nike Franco has been the standout filly all season but she has missed the money in both the New South Wales and the Victorian Oaks and is beatable.
So who put their hand up in the semi finals at Ballarat.
Just Cala was allowed to drift back from barrier four in the first semi final and ended up last at the 800 meters mark before getting a drag up from Rocknroll Arden and finishing over the top of them for a brilliant win.
In the same heat Spicy Stride had a shot at the lead, failed and then badly over raced for most of the race yet still got off the canvas to run second.
Ocean Diva was sent forward early from barrier seven when the pace was hot and stuck on well for third after racing parked for most of the race.
In the second semi final Nike Franco got her front legs clipped early and galloped and then looped the field to lead mid race before not surprisingly battling the last 150 meters to finish a close up fourth.
The winner of the semi final Quick Draft went huge after settling back from her second row draw.
Sent forward three wide from from the back at the 700 meters, Quick Draft kept giving in the straight to score a great win.
The last 800 meters off the front was run in 55.6 and 400 meters in 27.1 which makes the run of Quick Draft look even better.
Barynya followed Quick Draft everywhere she went but couldn't pick her up in the straight and Our Santa Catalina finished nicely for third after working early in the race.
We are not as bullish about Nike Franco as we were before the semi finals with two or three others looming as major challengers.
Still at the end of the day class is permanent so Nike Franco is top pick but from four second line it will not be easy.
Just Cala and Quick Draft only have to bring their semi final form with them to be serious winning chances.
Barynya will need luck from barrier eight but has upset them before and Ocean Diva is in the same boat from outside of the second row.
Spicy Stride and Our Santa Catarina for first four takers.
3 Year Old Colts/Geldings Breeders Crown Final
This looked a two horse war before the semi finals and in our view nothing much has changed now heading into the final.
In the first semi final, the late scratching of Messini robbed the race of a lot of interest.
Major Crocker ambled to the front from barrier four over Will Mach My Word who ended up in the trail from barrier one.
Alleluia worked forward and found the death after 500 meters and that was more or less the finishing order.
Major Crocker flew the last half in 55.5 and quarter in 26.9 to give those off the pace little hope of being in the first four.
Alleluia grabbed second with the trailer Will Mach My Words ending up in third.
The unlucky runner was Lettucerockthem who looked to have plenty to offer with little room.
The second semi final was full of quality and was billed as a match race between Sky Major and Bling It On and that is how it panned out.
Saloon Passage from barrier one got crossed early by Hectorjayjay who immediately handed up to Sky Major.
Half a lap later Zac Butcher on Sky Major handed up rather easily to Bling It On who immediately threw the anchor out.
The race turned into a sprint home from the 400 meters with Sky Major getting out 150 meters from home and claiming Bling It On in the shadows of the post with the last 400 meters in 26.4.
Hectorjayjay held third and Jilliby Jagger did well for fourth after being three wide for a lap.
Saloon Passage after being beaten out of the gate overaced but still finished the race off well to run fifth.
The draw says Bling It On should win but we think Sky Major is still the one to beat even from the outside of the second line.
Its a big call but Sky Major is right in the zone at the moment and won the Harness Jewels in New Zealand two months ago from five on the second line.
Clearly Bling It On will be favourite and tough to roll from barrier three
However there are several horses who are lining up to spoil the party and this is how we see them.
The next three horses from the semi finals that impressed us in no particular order were Lettucerockthem, Major Crocker and Saloon Passage who unlike last week are all drawn to be in the running line this week.
For first four players the next two cabs off the rank for us are Jilliby Jagger and Alleluia.