Day At The Track

Sicario ready to build big campaign

04:28 PM 22 Aug 2020 NZST
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Sicario,Harness racing
Stuart McCormick photo

He may be by some way the second highest stakes earner contesting tonight’s headline pace but few fly under the radar like this five-time Group 1 placegetter.

Sicario, whose season includes a country cup win and seventh placing in the Inter Dominion final at Auckland, returns tonight amid a stellar Simonds Homes Bendigo Pace field.

While the spotlight will draw to the two horses on his outside, Major Times and Lochinvar Art, Brent Lilley’s five-year-old is well-placed to add to his $427,125 in career stakes win.

Reinsman Chris Alford said Sicario had only known top-flight competition and he was optimistic there was more success in store for the gelding, who's first up from consecutive Kilmore victories in April.

“He did really well in the Inters and every race that he’s contested has been free-for-all or above,” Alford said.

“He’s had three or four trials. Although trials aren’t races, he’s going to be pretty close to the mark and he felt super in his last couple.”

Sicario comfortably won his three trials from August 2 to August 16, including getting home in a 56.9-second last half at Maryborough last start when he impressed his reinsman.

“He does feel a lot stronger this time that what he did last time in,” Alford said.

And he has no doubt he has the speed to match that improved strength.

“I think you’ll find that he ran the fastest last half ever at Auckland when four or five wide on the track in one of the Inter heats, so he’s always had the ability,” he said.

“He probably can’t do the work against the best ones, but if he gets the right run he’s always dangerous.”

And that includes tomorrow night, when he’ll start from gate nine, behind Rupert Of Lincoln, from where Alford will plot a path forward.

“We’ve got a good trailing draw so he should be able to push through,” he said. “Whether we get a chance to get around in front of the other ones (Lochinvar Art and Major Times) could be problematic, but we will just have to play it by ear.”

Tonight’s race is a fortnight since Major Times upset $1.10 favourite Lochinvar Art, with the latter found to be suffering a minor viral infection post-race, while third-placed My Kiwi Mate has drawn gate eight and again lies in wait.

The race streams at 7.35pm on Trots Vision, with the following race – the Yabby Dam Racing Trot – another must-see match-up with Dance Craze and Tornado Valley making their return to clash with Red Hot Tooth, Big Jack Hammer and Wobelee among a glut of Group 1 winners. Click here for more on the high-class trot.

 

HRV - Michael Howard

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