Day At The Track

Lenny and Heaven rocked by barrier draw

04:27 PM 16 Jan 2018 NZDT
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The Barrier Draw for The Ballarat Pacing Cup
The Barrier Draw for The Ballarat Pacing Cup

More questions have been established than answered at today's staging of the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup draw.  Broadcast live on Harness Racing Victoria's Facebook page, the draw delivered a mixed bag for the favourites of the $100,000 Group 1, with Mark Purdon's pair Heaven Rocks and Vincent drawing gates one and six respectively and fan favourite Lennytheshark drawing inside the back row.

Good Form analyst Blake Redden, who joined host Jason Bonnington for the barrier draw, said his confidence around Heaven Rocks had been battered by his pole draw, given the potential of the notoriously modest starter to be buried early.

"It's a concern, I would have thought, given Shadow Sax (is in gate two) and ... if (Bernie Winkle in gate three) does want to find the pegs his best chance might be to race the gate early and try and get in behind Shadow Sax," Redden said. "It's certainly a concern for Heaven Rocks."

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Redden said Emma Stewart's Shadow Sax, fresh from conquering the Stawell, Geelong and South Australian pacing cups, looked the likely early leader.

"Certainly Shadow Sax ... you would have thought will be the early leader and Vincent will come and apply the pressure at some stage," Redden said. "I wouldn't be surprised if there was a real lack of gate speed. I'm not sure that anything outside of Shadow Sax is going to burn knowing they can't find the front."

In their early post-draw analysis both Redden and Bonnington tipped Vincent on top, with Redden predicting victory was probably out of the picture for Victorian favourite Lennytheshark after drawing inside the back row.

"He probably can't win the race, he's going to have good horses a long way in front of him," he said. "I think it's probably a good barrier draw for him given that he can have a quiet enough run, see exactly where he is at coming off that Inter Dominion preparation and perhaps target the Hunter Cup still. We will learn a lot more on Saturday night."

Trots Media - Michael Howard

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