Day At The Track

Second row draw doesn't dent confidence

03:27 AM 11 Jan 2011 NZDT
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Bendigo Harness Racing Club

Despite being dished out a poor second row draw, New South Wales harness racing trainer Mitchell Reese is confident that Holy Camp Boy is the horse to beat in Saturday night's (January 15) PETstock Bendigo Pacing Cup.

Reese said that Holy Camp Boy only "needs the speed to be on" to be a real contender for the major prize in the $50,000 Group 2 feature over 2650 metres. "With Saturday's classy line up, the speed is there and I am banking that the race will be quickly run early, that will suit my horse," he said. The young Riverstone horseman will ship Holy Camp Boy to Victoria on Thursday and will stable his horse with Craig Turnbull at Doreen.

The presence of harness racing superstar Smoken Up and top Grand Circuit performers Make Mine Cullen and Melpark Major in the star studded Cup field hasn't dented the Reese's confidence and he is certain that the horse is going as well as anything else in the Cup.

"Why wouldn' t I be? He has won his last five straight," Reese said. "He is going good and the horse is really focused on what he is doing in his races. Holy Camp Boy scored a brilliant last to first win in the Shirley Turnbull Memorial (2520m) beating a field which included top performers Karloo Mick, Lady Lexus and Rohan Home on a soaking wet track at Bathurst a couple of weeks ago.

Then he made it five wins straight defeating gun performers Lonestar Legend and Rohan Home at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. In the Menangle 2300 metre event he did a lot wrong, pulling hard, breaking stride but still paced a 1:59 last mile and 55.5 last quarter mile.

"If you take a look at his form, he goes through patches of winning streaks and when he is going well he just keeps on winning," Reese explained. A seven-year-old son of Stature, Holy Camp Boy has raced seven times this preparation for five wins.

Reese cited his first up start in the Brian Hancock Cup at Menangle last October as a good barometer to how he has progressed. "First up he was fifth to Smoken Up at Menangle over a mile. That wasn't his go and it was a super run," Reese said.

"He has just gotten better and better as he has progressed." Holy Camp Boy ran third at his next start in a Newcastle mile then started his winning streak on his home track at Penrith in the President's Cup. The gelding has won almost $200,000 and has paced a 1:54.9 life best mile.

Jarrod Alchin will drive Holy Camp Boy in the Cup and Reese said no-one is driving better at present. "If Jarrod can get the speed on early and a good cart up on the bell lap, we're going to be coming home and we're a real winning chance," Reese said.

Miracle Mile winner and last week's SA Pacing Cup hero Smoken Up (Lance Justice) has drawn post position two in the Cup with his stablemate Hollywood Bromac to start from the pole position. The Paul Rowse trained speedster Decorated Jasper (Jodi Quinlan) has drawn three, with Glenn Douglas' super mare Make Mine Cullen (Daryl Douglas) at four and top Grand Circuit performer Melpark Major (Amy Tubbs) shooting for back to back wins in the space of eight days drawn at five.

Geoff Webster's stablemates Mister Swinger which won Victoria final race for 2010 before finishing fifth in last week's SA Pacing Cup has drawn six and Lets Slash An Burn (Greg Sugars), the winner of the Cobram Cup and third in last week's Horsham Cup on the outside of the front row.

Kerryn Manning's Standelle, the runner up in the SA Pacing Cup last Saturday night will go from the inside of the second line with Karlsruhe, Cincinatti Kid and the locally trained Bold Cruiser all off the back line.

David ALDRED

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