Day At The Track

Former kiwi pacer emerges as the key player

03:01 PM 10 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Galactic Star,Harness racing
Galactic Star
Stuart McCormack photo

A little-known former New Zealand pacer has emerged as the key player in the A$500,000 Inter Dominion Pacing Final.

 Because while former Southland pacer Galactic Star has had a top class career in West Australia, he would rarely have been on the radar of most New Zealand punters, even the serious harness racing players, until this Interdom series in Victoria.

 Yet after drawing the ace for Saturday night’s 2760m final at Melton, the attitude of his connections could decide the race.

 Galactic Star, who won four races in New Zealand two years ago when trained by Des Baynes, won his first night heat of this series using blazing gate speed and has been very good when placed in his subsequent two heats.

 But his impact on the final outcome has been boosted enormously by him drawing barrier one, from where he looks certain to lead.

 If driver Ryan Warwick wants to stay in front that will mean no shot at the lead for key front line runners Pat Delight (barrier three), Spankem (five) or Tiger Tara (seven).

 It would almost certainly mean plenty of pressure to try and break him and potentially bring a horse like series points leader Cruz Bromac into contention after he fared poorly in the draw, copping the second line

 But if Warwick and the Galactic Star’s connections decide the trail is the place to be then either of the well-favoured Kiwis, Pats Delight or Spankem, will fancy their chances of running to the front and therefore becoming the one to beat.

  Spankem’s incredible rise throughout this series continued after the draw as he is now the $2.80 favourite for the classic just six weeks after punters could have got $41 for him to win it.

 He has thrilled co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen with how he has bounced through his three heats but she has decided to stick with Cruz Bromac as her drive out of loyalty, having driven him five times for five wins.

 That means training partner Mark Purdon takes the reins behind Spankem and gives him a shot at a unique piece of Inter Dominion history as he has won the last two pacing finals driving Smolda and Lazarus so could make it a three-peat on three different horses.

 Spankem, who won only once last season as a three-year-old, is favourite over Pats Delight and Cruz Bromac still the third favourite even though his task looks enormously more difficult as he won’t be able to use his gate speed.

 Gate speed and tactical decisions could also decide the A$150,000 Trotting Final on Saturday, which after the draw looks a two-horse race.

 South Auckland trotter Speeding Spur has the advantage of barrier one giving co-trainer and driver Josh Dickie options of whether to stay in front or elects to trail favourite Tornado Valley.

 The latter has drawn barrier six and may even have the raw speed to cross Speeding Spur but if the pair lead and trail it looks curtains for their rivals.

(THESE FIELDS TO BE BROKEN OUT ON RUNNER PER LINE)

The fields for the two Inter Dominion finals to be run at Melton on Saturday night are:

$500,000 Inter Dominion Pacing Final, 2760m mobile, 11.45 (NZtime)

1: Galactic Star

2: Can’t Refuse

3: Im Pats Delight

4: Mach Doro

5: Spankem

6: Maximan

7: Tiger Tara

8: San Carlo (1 second line)

9: Cruz Bromac

10: Our Uncle Sam

11: Wrappers Delight

12: Audi Hare (em)

13: Cash N Flow

A$150,000 Inter Dominion Trotting Final, 2760m, 11.08 NZtime

1: Speeding Spur

2: Monty Python

3: Save Our Pennys

4: Rompers Monarchy

5: Big Jack Hammer

6: Tornado Valley

7: Sky Petite

8: Illawong Armstrong (1 second line, em)

9: Tough Monarch

10: Kingdom Come

11: Kyvalley Blur

12: Wilmas Mate

13: Red Hot Tooth

 

Michael Guerin

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