David Aiken may have a strong hand in the night’s feature race, but it is his undercard that could provide the biggest success for the Avenel trainer.
Like Brad Pitt walking down Hollywood Boulevard, Aiken will have a bevy of beautiful women hanging off his arms in the form of trotting mares.
And of his runners, it could be an almost clean sweep of the podium with representation in the Lyn McPherson Memorial Gold and Bronze series’.
Vics Cheval and Spidergirl will be the leading lights as they fight for favouritism with TAB fixed odds for the Group 2 Gold Series final which allows automatic entry into next year’s Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star heats.
And not just that, they will be shooting for a $3,000 bonus for running a race record and an extra $10,000 if they can break the track record.
For now though, the master training will be content with having his girls on song come Saturday night.
“Both the mares were really good in their work this week. They are obviously out the draw which makes it a bit tough. We were trying to get Spidergirl back in the draw but she was out of position last week which didn’t help,” Aiken said.
“Spidergirl I thought her run was terrific. Both her and Cold Sister made 10 metres up the back straight when they went a 58.6 quarter.
“Vics Cheval has really come ahead but I’ve never really put her in the same class. In saying that, I wouldn’t be surprised if either of them won.”
Aiken’s Bronze runner, Dizzyinterest, had a torrid run in her heat, galloping at the start before working to the top mid-race and then fading for sixth.
That was her first-up run however and she was backed into odds-on so the signs are clear that she has returned to the track in good style.
And given her form as a three-year-old, her trainer has no doubt she is up to Saturday night’s race.
“She can be a little erratic at times and breaking at the gate she did a lot of work to find the front. She finished off okay in fourth and it was only her first run back so she should be better for it,” Aiken said.
“As a three-year-old she wasn’t far behind Vics Cheval with Spidergirl better than them. She can do things wrong but she has her fair share of ability.”
The last of the team’s runners on the night is Im Havinaball who has drawn the outside of the front row in the Princess Of Speed.
Having to take on Claudys Princess, things aren’t going to be easy for the lightly raced three-year-old but Aiken does rate her ability.
“She keeps improving and I think up the track she will narrow the gap to Claudys Princess,” he said.
“She is the benchmark filly at the moment so to run second to her the other day was pleasing. My filly has a lot of experience to gain in terms of her gait but I do really like her.”
By Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)