Day At The Track

Prentice's anxious wait

09:00 AM 03 Jul 2017 NZST
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Soho Tribeca_20170630.jpg
Soho Tribeca

Visiting Western Australian trainer Kim Prentice faces a race against time with his stable star Soho Tribeca’s fitness ahead of next Saturday night’s Group One Vicbred final. 

Delight turned into serious concern in the space of 200m in Friday night’s semi-final for Prentice. 

Soho Tribeca went from seemingly cruising towards an easy win to stopping sharply and just holding-on to win by a nose. 

Prentice knew something wasn’t right. 

“Turns out he’s got a foot abscess which hasn’t been able to blow out and his whole leg blew-up because of it,” Prentice said. “We’ve got another seven days now until the Friday. All we can do is hope he’s ok for it. 

“Knowing what we do now, he was so incredibly brave on Friday night. I’m so proud of him.” 

Soho Tribeca, placed behind Chicago Bull in the huge Fremantle/WA Pacing Cup double earlier this year, was one of the headline acts of the entire Vicbred series. 

He was $1.80 prepost favourite on the Aussie TAB for the final before Friday night’s issue emerged. 

The cloud over Soho Tribeca further boosts the final chances of exciting local General Dodge, who made it nine wins from just 10 starts when he powered to an arrogant all-the-way win in his semi-final. 

“He’s got gears this horse. His cruising speed is so high. He does it so easily,” driver Jodi Quinlan said. 

General Dodge has drawn gate nine for the final, while Soho Tribeca has gate six if he is fit enough to line-up. 

Kiwi raider Moonrock, who ran a sound third to General Dodge in his semi, has gate eight (inside the back row) in the final. 

The other huge talking point of Friday night’s Vicbred semis was the remarkably dominance of champion trainer Emma Stewart

Stewart had a staggering 23 runners across the 12 semi-finals and converted impressively with 18 of them qualifying for next Saturday night’s Grand Finals. 

She trained five of the 12 semi winners and also landed two quinellas. 

The winners were: Nostra Villa (2YO filly), Whirily School (4YO mare), Major Times and Poster Boy (2YO colts/geldings) and Miss Graceland (3YO fillies). 

Realistically, Stewart is well placed to win four of the Group One Vicbred finals next Saturday night. 

Miss Graceland, who finally turned the tables on arch-rival Petacular when they last met in the Victoria Oaks final, gets her chance to win again from gate two in the final. 

But, Petacular showed the most gate speed she ever has in her semi win and could be a chance of getting across Miss Graceland at the start from gate five in the final. 

That clash will be a real highlight of the night. 

Barring a huge shock, Stewart will win the 2YO colts and geldings final, most probably with sparkling youngster Poster Boy who will start from gate three. 

Giant young stablemate Major Times looks the main threat from gate two in a final where Stewart has an incredible seven of the 12 runners. 

Stewart also has a huge hand in the 2YO fillies’ final with semi-final winner Nostra Villa drawn gate 10. 

Her Australian Gold final winner Nostra Beach had nothing go right when sixth in her semi, but made the final and snared the valuable gate three. 

Other Kiwi interest in the Vicbred finals comes through former Allstars stable three-year-old Stars Align, who has been a revelation since being sent across to the Dean Braun stable. 

His semi-final over the speedy Rocknroll Icon was awesome and he looks a standout in the final from gate four.

Adam Hamilton

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