Day At The Track

Soho on the other side of the ledger now

10:36 AM 13 Jun 2013 NZST
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Jayne Davies and Noel Alexander
Jayne Davies and Noel Alexander

Often the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series can make or break a season. Many horses come from strong Group 1 formlines and prove they are still dominant in their categories, while others come from far-flung country regions to stake their claim in the month-long series.

This year however, Soho Ledger will be attempting to win after changing something more intrinsic than his form or stable; he will have to overcome a shift in gaits.

A son of Modern Art trained by Jayne Davies, the three-year-old was pacing at his first five starts, with little success. But it wasn’t a forced move into trotting; it was something that came naturally.

“We just took him out there one day to gallop him and he kept switching over to a trot at a bit of speed,” Davies said.

“He just looked like he wanted to trot so next time we put a set of back-boots on him and we’ve never looked back.

“He was actually entered at Bathurst as a pacer but they have a trot race on the same program and he was allowed to switch over. His gait isn’t 100% fluid but it’s slowly all coming together.”

That was evident at his last two starts which saw him knock off the likes of Glenferrie Typhoon and The Boss Man at Yarra Valley before he returned for a stand-start affair which he streeted his older rivals with ease.

The form has stood up too, with Glenferrie Typhoon winning since and The Boss Man taking out the Bendigo Trotters Classic.

Stepping up himself might be a different story however, and Davies is under no illusions he is meeting one of the most promising squaregaiters in recent times in Blitzthemcalder.

“We’ve drawn really well this time (1) but it is a lot harder with the good horses in this race. It should be a good test for us to see where he is at,” she said.

“Speed is the key to him. He can sit on good speed and has the ability to finish off, probably being pacing-bred has helped that.

“We’ll just come out of the gate safe and make sure he is trotting well to the first bend. There is a bit of speed off the front row and although Daryl has never driven him I’m sure we are in capable hands.”

Soho Ledger is rated a $6 chance with HRV form expert Michael Polster behind second favourite and VHRSC Holmfield winner Steal A Sixpence at $4.

Blitzthemcalder is coming off a mixed campaign across the ditch and has drawn barrier nine. He has been marked the clear-cut favourite and even money elect.

The second of the two Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series heats comes two races later for the three-year-old trotting fillies where David Aiken’s filly, Spidergirl, will begin her VSS title defence.

by Blake Redden

Harness Racing Victoria

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