Trainer Bruce Negus, who has been the driving force behind tomorrow’s Youth Vs Experienced meeting at Waikouaiti , is excited about tomorrow’s concept and expects the series to bring in plenty of interest Australasian wide.
“I’m not expecting a huge crowd on course but I am expecting plenty of off-course interest,” said the trainer, best known for his feats with Champion youngster Courage Under Fire.
“It will be 10am in Australia when the meeting starts and there won’t be a lot else on for them to watch,” said Negus. “So having Lance Justice and Amanda Turnball over here should create plenty of Australian interest in the meeting.”
Negus said that no driver looks to have a standout book on paper, so consistency will probably be the decider.
“We are scoring the Series a bit differently than usual, with the winner of the race only getting a few more points than the reinsman that finishes fourth or fifth,” revealed Negus. “So it will probably take four of five good finishes to take the gold rather than say a couple of wins, two lasts, and a ninth.”
Negus said that he expects the T.A.B to open various betting options on the series and T.A.B Bookmaker Stephen Richardson later confirmed that there would be two books opened – Youth or Experienced and Overall Winner.
The age for the experienced reinsmen was set at 50 and over, while the youthful reinsman have to be 25 or under.
The teams are as follows: Team Experience: Lance Justice (Aus), Allan Beck, Peter Ferguson, Tony Herlihy and Maurice Mckendry. Team Youth: Amanda Turnball (Aus), Zac Butcher, Samantha Ottley, Craig Ferguson, Dexter Dunn, and Matthew Williamson.
All races in the series are penalty-free, while the winner of the eighth race will receive a free service fee to Betterthancheddar on top of the stake money courtesy of Alabar, who are sponsoring the meeting.
“We are hugely grateful to Alabar and have had a piece of artwork done on Betterthancheddar which will be in the background of all the winning pictures,” said Negus.
While Negus, who is the Vice-President of the Waikouaiti Trotting Club, has plenty on his hands with the series tomorrow, he also has a strong team of his own engaged to race.
“Delightful Dash should win the first,” he said matter-of-factly. “And Highland Reign who is in the same race should finish in the money.”
“Goodboy Tiger and Merilane are both in form trotters and love the grass, so they also have good chances.”
Negus also said that his brother-in-law’s horse Martini could be worth a dollar at good odds, while Alexy, who he is driving himself in the Amatuer Drivers event, is in a similar boat.
“Martini was going to demolish a good field before he galloped last start and Alexy can surprise at odds if he gets the right trip.”
The track is currently in great condition and as long as there is no more rain, it should provide a tip-top racing surface.
By Mitchell Robertson