Tomorrow night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO entires and geldings second heat at Tabcorp Park Melton has to be one of the strongest midweek harness races in recent memory.
If Chariots of Fire winner Guaranteed wanted an easy kill first up, he will be sorely disappointed, bumping into arguably Australia’s form 4YO Lennytheshark.
Stewart is certain David Aiken’s rising star will be the horse to beat not only tomorrow night but throughout the series.
“If he was up at the time, Lennytheshark would have run in the Chariots,” Stewart said.
“I think he’s the horse to beat in the series. Tomorrow night’s field is very strong. It could easily be the final field.”
Stewart said while it wasn’t ideal to be bumping straight into a hard, fit Lennytheshark, she was pleased with how her horse was progressing.
“He’s had two trials. He’s pretty close actually. The only thing he’ll be lacking is a bit of race fitness.
“Gavin (Lang) is pleased with how he feels. It’s good to have him back.”
Lennytheshark (gate three) has won four straight races and possesses strong early gate speed. He looks a good chance to cross Guaranteed (drawn one) early.
The question will then be how do Greg Sugars and Ginger Bliss begin from seven?
“The draw hasn’t helped,” said Ginger Bliss’s trainer John Nicholson.
“He’s probably about 80-85 per cent. If it was over 1700m he’d be looking to go forward. He’s a really good miler. But over the 2200m we’ll just have to see.”
Guaranteed and Ginger Bliss finished 1-2 in the Group 2 Paleface Adios and the Chariots earlier this year.
Stewart can see Lennytheshark finding the lead. “We’ll probably end up getting crossed,” she said.
But even if Guaranteed isn’t able to win first-up, making it through to the next phase of the series is the number one objective for Stewart.
“We’ve just got to get through the heats to get into the semis,” she said.
Guaranteed has won 19 of his 27 starts for prizemoney of $516,913, Lennytheshark has won 12 out of 27 for stakes of $297,424. Ginger Bliss has 14 wins from 34 starts for $163,359.
By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)