Trainer Mark Jones is happy with how Master Lavros has settled in Sydney in preparation for Sunday’s $A200,000 Glenferrie Farm Challenge, but what has really pleased him is how the giant five-year-old trotter trialled at Menangle on Tuesday.
After settling on the leaders back, Master Lavros trotted a tick over 1-54.0 for the mile with his earplugs still in, finishing a five metre second to seven-win pacer Eternal Glory.
Keystone Del, who won the Glenferrie Farms Challenge last year and will attempt to defend his title on Sunday, finished a further 8.5 metres away in third.
“He came through the trial really well, so I couldn’t be happier,” said Jones. “He seems to be getting better and better behind the gate as well which is also very pleasing,” he added.
Master Lavros, who is one of five Kiwis that will represent New Zealand in Sunday’s Group One Trans-Tasman Challenge, has drawn well in barrier one, however Jones is not 100% sure if he will be able to hold the lead.
“I’m not really sure how quickly some of the trotters over here get out,” said Jones. “But if he can’t lead I am confident he will atleast hold a forward position.”
Meanwhile, Colin DeFilippi, who is the trainer-driver of another top chance for New Zealand in Stent, is also happy with how his stable star has settled in.
“He travelled over really well so I am hopeful of a big run,” said DeFilippi.
DeFilippi is also happy enough with Stent’s barrier draw (4), and is hopeful he might be able to slot into a nice position.
“The draw could be a lot worse anyway,” added DeFilippi.
The other three New Zealand representatives are Vulcan, The Fiery Ginga, and Irish Whisper, while My High Expectations, who is shooting for his seventh straight win, heads the five-strong Australian team.
By Mitchell Robertson