Day At The Track

Kilmore Cup draw swings in 'Mister's' favour

02:17 AM 22 Oct 2008 NZDT
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Geoff Webster
Geoff Webster
File Photo

Mister Swinger's quest for back-to-back legs of the Victorian Country Cup Carnival received a boost this morning when the emerging star landed barrier four in Sunday's $70,000 SEW-Eurodrive Kilmore Pacing Cup.

The draw, combined with the absence of Victoria's best pacer Smoken Up, means the Geoff Webster-trained Village Jasper entire, who won last Saturday night's Nyah Cup, is likely to start favourite in the Group 2 event.

Lance Justice opted to save Smoken Up for the Mallia Builders Popular Alm Sprint on the same program, meaning that for only the third time in modern history the entire field will be off the front in the handicap event.

Since computer records were introduced in 1980, the only years that all horses started off the front were 2002 when Western Light won and 2005 when Robin Hood saluted.

WhileBannockburn-basedWebster said he didn't think Mister Swinger's were reliant on a front-row draw, he does consider it handy to have a head start on some of his rivals in the talent-packed field.

"That's not a bad barrier for him," Webster said. "He's not the fastest beginner, but he's pretty safe."

"Over the 3000m I don't think the barriers are quite as important, but it's always nice to draw the front. In saying that, there are some other nice horses there (off the front) as well."

The bonus for Webster is that one of the horses best-placed to challenge Mister Swinger for favouritism prior to the barrier draw, Chariots Of Fire winner Ebony Gem, landed dreaded barrier 13 - outside the back row.

Other key players to draw the all-important front row were Stawell Cup winner Keayang Hanover (one), last season's Horsham and Hamilton Cups winner Advance Attack (two), and Emma Stewart-trained stablemates Antigua Bay (five) and Manwarra Goforgold (six).

The Kilmore Cup is race seven on the nine-event program and the strands will be released at 3.28pm.

Justice's decision to bypass the Kilmore Cup in favour of the $20,000 sprint with Smoken Up, and the ensuing barrier draw, means the day's feature support race will be almost as eagerly anticipated as the main event.

Smoken Up has drawn outside the front row - barrier seven - with heir apparent Melpark Major to roll from gate four and noted speedster Cincinnati Kid from six in the flying 1690-metre event at 2.15pm.

Thirty-metre backmarkers Earl Of Mot and Save A Sixpence headline the field for the $7000 RDC Australasian Flooring Kilmore Trotters Cup at 1.05pm, while Tanabi Bromac, Sophie Pass, Make Waves and Village In Vesa headline a cracking $15,001 Kevin Hicks Real Estate Vicbred Pace for the M0s at 2.50pm.

SEW-Eurodrive Kilmore Cup Field: (Front Row) Keayang Hanover, Advance Attack, Karlsruhe, Mister Swinger, Antigua Bay, Manwarra Goforgold, Ultimate Mark; (Second Row) Megasam (emerg), Walton Shaw, Baltic Ice, Count De Lira, Bold Cruiser, Ebony Gem. Regards,

Brad BISHOP

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