Day At The Track

Draw ensures victory is not Guaranteed

01:06 PM 07 Jan 2015 NZDT
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Guaranteed

Under the Preferential Draw system it was never going to be easy, but the draw for Saturday night’s South Australia Cup has made life close to impossible for harness racing star Guaranteed.

With the Group One field drawn on lifetime earnings, Guaranteed could have begun from five, six, seven, 10, 11 or 12...to connections dismay, the son of Artsplace received 12!

On the tight Globe Derby circuit over 2230 metres, Guaranteed will “have to produce a record run” according to co-trainer Emma Stewart.

Maximan, which will start from gate seven in the $100,000 feature, set the 1:55.9 track record last weekend.

“The draw has made it very hard for him,” Stewart said. “It is never easy to come from the second row in any big race, but at Globe Derby over a short trip, it is even harder.

“He is in top shape and ready to go, but he will have to produce a record run to win from there.

“We will get him to the track in the best possible shape, then once he’s out on the track it’s up to Gavin (Lang, driver) to work the rest out.”

Citing Franco Ledger as the one to beat, Stewart believes local idol Come On Frank is capable of completing a hometown victory.

Successful at his debut for Geoff Webster at Melton last week, Franco Ledger will come from barrier five, with Come On Frank in gate six.

Come On Frank has 10 of his last 13 starts, while finishing second during the other three outings, including a gutsy effort behind Maximan when facing the breeze.

Come On Frank is aiming to become the first local to capture the Cup this century!

Ryans Day was the last home state hero in 1999 when trained and driven by Webster. Ironically, Webster has won the race twice since his move to Victoria – 2009 with Mister Swinger and the following year with Mister Zion.

“Franco Ledger was impressive at Melton in the way he finished off the race,” Stewart said. “If he does that again he will be very hard to hold out.

“Come On Frank is in career best form, and although this is a step up for him on recent starts, he is a proven performer.

“It is going to be a very interesting race.”

  • PAUL COURTS

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