Abettorpunt has long promised to rise to the elite level of pacing in Victoria and this preparation might be the one which sees him go straight to the top.
The winner of a Victoria Derby heat back in 2011, he was the runner-up in his Breeders Crown final in the same season.
Even the last two terms he’s been nothing if not consistent, with a plague of bad luck stopping him from reaching the pinnacle.
But trainer Dave Lewis believes that, following two strong placings late last season, he could be ready to show his best.
“We aimed for that Breeders Crown Free For All and then we decided to give him a little break and come back for a few of the Country Cups like the Swan Hill and Kilmore Cups in October,” Lewis said.
“We are hoping he can go to another level this year and he does seem well at home.”
The Kilmore Cup would of course set the son of Bettors Delight on a collision course with one of Victoria’s most exciting horses in Bitobliss, who will be shooting for three Kilmore Cups.
But first he will have to contend with the extreme draw at Tabcorp Park Melton Friday night however that wouldn’t have been unexpected given the preferential draw.
It’s not a race devoid of class though, with Bellas Delight, Jadahson and dual-Country Cup winner Saint Flash all engaged.
“He’s going pretty well, he trialled Sunday at Terang and ripped home in 56. He might need the run but we’d still expect a pretty forward showing,” Lewis said.
“He’ll probably be driven quiet this week because he does have high speed but if they dawdle he might pop around. He’s pretty forward so it wouldn’t surprise me if Matthew does decide to go around at some stage.
“His last start at Tabcorp Park he got a pretty severe quarter-crack so we put him in the paddock for six months. We could have patched him up and kept going but we decided to start a fresh this season.”
Abettorpunt has been marked the $3.50 equal favourite by HRV form assessor Jason Bonnington with Bellas Delight who has the advantage of the inside draw.
Lewis also reported that his other stable star Amajorjo is back in work at the Hamilton trainer’s property.
by Blake Redden
Harness Racing Victoria