Day At The Track

Major player this week

07:30 AM 21 May 2016 NZST
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Pacing Major

Pacing Major’s fading hopes for Harness Racing juvenile of the year could be about to get a much-needed boost.

But anything short of a win in Saturday’s $170,000 Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington could all but end his shot at freshman glory.

Pacing Major, part owned by thoroughbred training great Jim Gibbs, started the season looking the sharpest of his age group but has played second fiddle or worse to stablemate More The Better in their last four clashes.

That includes being runner-up in both the Young Guns Final at Alexandra Park and the Sales Series Pace at Addington last Saturday.

Pacing Major came from off the speed last week but has the advantage of barrier three in this week’s 1950m group one, with his stablemate alongside him at barrier four at the daytime meeting.

If Pacing Major can turn the tables on Saturday and then again at the Harness Jewels, he could still sneak the juvenile title.

But if More The Better beats him on Saturday he will hold a 6-2 winning record over Pacing Major and the Jewels result may be irrelevant to the horse of the year voting.

One of the pair is almost certain to head to Australia for the Breeders Crown in August but that doesn’t effect horse of the year voting as the awards are presented in early August before the Crown is held later that month.

Even with his recent dominance, More The Better only slightly shades Pacing Major in Jewels betting, one at $2 the other $2.40.

Golden Goddess has a clear advantage in the draws for Saturday’s NZ Oaks, having drawn perfectly on the front line while Dream About Me and Piccadilly Princess are on the second line.

Habibti Inta gets a front line draw in the $60,000 Sires’ Stakes Trot while arch rival Enghien faces a huge task from the inside of the second line.

And Christen Me gets one more New Zealand start for the season after only copping a 30m handicap in the Winter Cup, a dream result for the $2.4million earner.

Michael Guerin

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