A capacity BIG6 Hunter Cup field of 14 will farewell Moonee Valley when the $400,000 Group 1 is run this Saturday night (Feb 6). The field for the feature event of the last night of harness racing at the Moonee Ponds circuit was finalised this afternoon when the barrier draw was conducted at the Caduceus Club function inthe Celebrity Room at Moonee Valley.
With 20-metre backmarker(20 metres) and 10-metre runners Bettors Strike and Washakie the only starters off a handicap, 11 of the 14 runners are off the front making the barrier draw all the more vital.
Popular New South Wales veteran Karloo Mick (barrier one), last year's runner-up I Am Sam (four), standing start specialist Bondy (five) and Western Australian raider Im Themightyquinn (six) were among the big winners after landing the front row.
Fancied chances Smoken Up (10) and Tanabi Bromac (11) saw their hopes take a hit when they were allocated second-line draws for the 3065-metre standing start affair. The BIG6 Hunter Cup is the headline act of what will be the biggest harness meeting conducted in Victoria in years.
The cracking 10-race programme gets underway at 6pm.
The fixture will bring down the curtain on the venue that was the home of Victorian harness racing from October 30, 1976 until the opening of Tabcorp Park, Melton last July and Harness Racing Victoria will give the night a huge send-off.
Accompanying the BIG6 Hunter Cup as Group 1s on the card are the $250,000 SEW-Eurodrive Inter Dominion Trotting Championship Grand Final and the $200,000 Alabar Victoria Derby Final, barriers for which were also drawn at today's function.
s Gift's chances of becoming the first back-to-back winner of the Inter Dominion title since Pride Of Petite in 1997 escalated immeasurably when he came up with the coveted insidestarting position for the 2575-metre mobile.
In contrast,s Gift's Chris Lang-trained stablemate , a shock failure in his semi final last Saturday night, drew barrier seven, while Acacia Ridge (two), Heyzeal (five) and DonKing (six) round out a strong front line.
In the Derby, For A Reason fared best of the big names, landing barrier two, while heat winners Lincoln Royal (eight),(nine) and Major Bronski (11) all drew out the back.
The Derby field is: (front row) Remember El, For A Reason, Chariot King, Master Joy, Wartime Sweetheart, Courage To Rule, Renaissance Man; (back row) Lincoln Royal,, Heza Panamach, Major Bronski, Dream Catch Me, Bells And Whistles.
$400,000 BIG6 HUNTER CUP (3065m, SS) 9.30pm
1 KARLOO MICK Barry Lew Greg Bennett $7
POWER OF TARA Tony Peacock Tony Herlihy $14
ROAD TO RAINBOW (emerg) Glenn Douglas $81
I AM SAM Alan Tubbs Amy Tubbs $26
BONDY David Butt David Butt $6
IM THEMIGHTYQUINN Gary Hall Gary Hall Jnr $7.50
OHOKA NEVADA Tony Peacock Damian Wilson $18
NOTASWETHORT Glenn Douglas Daryl Douglas $34
PEMBROOK BENNY Barry Purdon Barry Purdon $16
0 SMOKEN UP Lance Justice Lance Justice $5.50
1 TANABI BROMAC Keith Cotchin Gavin Lang $13
2 TI VOGLIOBENE Greg Norman Greg Sugars ODS $71
3 BETTORS STRIKE Cran Dalgety Dexter Dunn $5
4 WASHAKIE John McCarthy John McCarthy $12
------- 20 Metres --------------
5 MR FEELGOOD Tim Butt Anthony Butt $12
$250,000 SEW-EURODRIVE INTER DOMINION FINAL (2575m) 8.02pm
1 SUNDONS GIFT Chris Lang Chris Lang $1.50
ACACIA RIDGE Gary Hoban Gary Hoban $13
BETE NOIRE Michelle Manning Michelle Manning $61
CILLAS EARL Michael Marais Michael Marais $10
HEYZEAL Dean Braun Greg Sugars $14
DON KING Graeme Lang Gavin Lang $10
SKYVALLEY Chris Lang Chris Lang Jnr $4.50
DREAM A MOMENT Kerryn Manning Kerryn Manning $51
KASYANOV Shaun Gillespie Daryl Douglas $71
0 JOE BRO Peter Manning TBC $71
1 SOLAR ACTIVE Tyron Abela Chris Alford $101
2 WELL CAST (emerg) Roger Reeves Scott Dyer ODM $71
3 RED SAMURAI Clinton Welsh Clinton Welsh RODM $126
*** Odds supplied by TAB Sportsbet