A supposedly bad draw could develop into a winning advantage for NSW pacer Suave Stuey Lombo in today’s $50,000 Kaikoura Cup.
The Newcastle pacer is set to start favourite in the final lead-up to next week’s New Zealand Trotting Cup, even though he will start from wide on the front line on the tight, flat track which hosts its annual meeting.
While he has been in sensational form in his home state in Australia in recent months, he surprised many New Zealand punters with an enormous fifth behind Terror To Love in last Monday’s record run Flying Stakes at Ashburton.
Suave Stuey Lombo missed away from the ace draw on that occasion before working up to sit parked and only fading out of the placings late, suggesting he is well up to winning a race like today’s weaker feature.
And trainer Shane Tritton says while a wide draw isn’t usually considered ideal on a frontrunners track like Kaikoura, he prefers that to last week’s ace draw.
“I was surprised how long he had to stand last week because he came into line first,” said Tritton.
“So the main thing we were hoping for this week was a wider draw.
“And he should be fitter this week too as that was his first run for a while.” While Suave Stuey Lombo is likely to settle beyond midfield, his driver Lauren Panella is ultra aggressive, a fact not lost on her rivals, and when she moves she should be able to get handy without too many traffic concerns.
If Suave Stuey Lombo races up to his best form that could be enough to see him win and maybe earn third favouritism for next week’s Cup.
His greatest danger should be the pacer who had even worse luck that him at Ashburton last Monday in Fly Like An Eagle.
The son of Mach Three made a great beginning from the standing start only for a rein to come loose and see him duck to the inside of the track, where he followed the field around dangerously with trainer-driver Mark Purdon having no control over him.
His prior form was good and if he steps quickly he will be very hard to catch over the 2400m.
The same applies to Easy On The Eye whose chances will be dictated by what happens at the start while Jarcullembra and Jimmy Johnstone have upsets hopes if they behave while others do not.
The Cup is one of three features on today’s card and all three could be decided by manners at the start.
Outstanding trotters Stent and Master Lavros clash in the $25,000 free-for-all, with their trainers keen to avoid mobile starts leading into Cup week.
They have been too slick for their old opponents in recent weeks but with both capable of 56 second last 800m sectionals whichever gets in front of the other will be the one to beat.
The $50,000 Sales Series Pace brings together some in-form intermediate grade pacers with big futures but for all the depth of the field is Arden Rooney is able to lead and produce a performance mirroring his track record effort at Rangiora last start it will take something special to catch him.
The value in the race looks to be northerner Cyamach, who has been solid from a stand and has a brilliant sprint so would be dangerous if he could stalk the leaders.
Courtesy of Michael Guerin and the New Zealand Herald