Day At The Track

Draw not a major concern for Guaranteed

12:54 PM 12 Nov 2014 NZDT
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Guaranteed is enaged at Menangle on Saturday night
Photo Paul Courts

On face value the draw for Menangle on Saturday night hasn’t been kind to harness racing’s boom pacer Guaranteed.

Receiving barrier seven in the Coca-Cola Sprint, Guaranteed slots into five with the removal of the emergency for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin.

A brilliant winner of his three starts this season, Guaranteed – along with fellow Victorians Abettorpunt, Bitobliss and Hilltop Hustler – has been sent across the Murray in a bid to secure a Miracle Mile berth.

Australasia’s premier sprint, the Miracle Mile is scheduled to be run on November 29.

While five can be considered an awkward draw, co-owner Mark Thompson believes the starting position “shouldn’t really have an effect” in the Group One.

“I don’t think he is favoured by an inside draw anyway as he doesn’t get away all that quickly,” Thompson said. “If anything, he will get out better when a little wider out.

“Given he doesn’t have blistering gate speed, the draw isn’t the be all and end all, so it shouldn’t really have an effect on him overall.”

To be driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Guaranteed is no stranger to feature race glory at the world class venue.

Successful in the Tatlow Stake as a two-year-old, the son of Artsplace won a Derby heat at three before capturing the Mount Eden Championship and Chariots Of Fire at four.

The latter performance – widely-regarded as the greatest victory in the prestigious event – was the day Guaranteed proved he is a Grand Circuit contender in the making according to Thompson.

“From the time he made his debut he has shown a lot of promise, and delivered on it, but in the Chariots he really showed what he is capable of,” Thompson said.

“That said, people still see him as a big, strong horse, but under estimate his speed. When he gets the chance to follow and come off the pace, you’ll see how quickly he can sprint.”

Aware of the high expectations surrounding the stallion, Thompson declared Guaranteed’s career won’t be defined on his first attempt at the highest level.

“No doubt if he doesn’t run well plenty of knockers will come out, but I’m not worried about that,” Thompson said. “This is another step up for him and there is no doubt he will put in a good run….he won’t disgrace himself.

“If you take a really hard look at the Grand Circuit races, more often than not it the horse which gets the best run that wins, so like all of them we’ll need a bit of luck.

“Smoken Up is the perfect example of that…he did a power of work in his races and on many occasions got beaten right on the line by a horse that had the better run and luck.

“If things go his way, again like most of them, he will go very close.”

  • PAUL COURTS

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