Day At The Track

TAB Carnival of Cups is here

02:23 PM 30 Sep 2017 NZDT
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Todd McCarthy, Harness Racing
Todd McCarthy

The official start to the TAB Carnival of Cups for the 2017/18 harness racing season gets underway, as it traditionally does, at Eugowra this Monday.

The eight-race card is highlighted by the Lexus of Parramatta Canola Cup, which some experts have claimed it to be the strongest edition ever of Group 3 feature.

Trainers and drivers from all over the state have qualified for their spot in the $30,000 final including premiership winning reinsman Todd McCarthy who is driving Miss Patriot.

The Kevin Pizzuto-trained mare has remained unbeaten in her two Australian starts.

Exported from New Zealand on September 15, the American Ideal mare made her Australian debut six days later at Penrith and won.

Just three days after this, Miss Patriot won her Canola Cup heat.

She produced the fastest of the five qualifiers in the process, leading throughout in a mile rate of 2:00.1.

"In the heat I didn't want to push her too hard into the first turn but once she found the top she won comfortably," McCarthy said.

"She's a pretty handy mare.

"I'll talk to Kevin and go through the race but I'd like her to be up there nice and handy . . . Kevin's horses usually race that way and it's key to be close to the action on these smaller tracks."

Miss Patriot will most likely start favourite in the lucrative feature after drawing barrier five but may come out of barrier four with the removal of the first emergency.

The only other heat winner drawn on the front row is Im With Lexy (one), who rated 2:00.7 to win her heat.

The three other heat winners Eliza Dushku, Pay Me Sam and Inner Light have drawn 10, 11 and 12 respectively.

AMANDA RANDO

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