Day At The Track

Inter Dominion favourite headlines Bendigo

09:16 PM 10 Nov 2016 NZDT
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Hectorjayjay
Hectorjayjay
Stuart McCormack photo

The Markovina Free for All, to be run at Lord’s Raceway Bendigo tomorrow night, has attracted a high quality line-up. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) last month made the decision to move the Markovina from Saturday night’s Tabcorp Park Melton program to Bendigo due to the flight transporting horses to the Perth Inter Dominion booked to take off Sunday.

Trainer David Aiken has elected to run both his Inter Dominion big guns this weekend, reigning Perth champion Lennytheshark stepping out at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night in the Olympus Feeds Smoken Up Sprint, while outright Inters favourite Hectorjayjay ($3.40 with TAB.com.au) runs tomorrow night from barrier six in the $20,000 Markovina FFA.

Hectorjayjay is a commanding favourite tomorrow night ($1.65 into $1.40 with TAB.com.au), but he bumps into his last-start Yarra Valley Pacing Cup vanquisher in Restrepo from the Emma Stewart stable.

Restrepo is $2.60 with TAB.com.au and driver Chris Alford predicted the eight-year-old son of Art Major would improve on his first-up win. But the superstar reinsman also placed a caveat on his statement, saying it would be a tricky task to upstage Hector twice in succession.

“It was well documented he’d had 20 months off (before Yarra Valley) but his run there was super. He did have a nice, easy run, but he still ran a super half and I’m sure the run will have done him the world of good,” Alford said.

“It’ll be a hard task tomorrow in such a small field and with Hector being there. But I’m sure he’ll go great again.”

The pair dominates the market but there is not one slouch among the chasing brigade tomorrow, with Group 2 winning speedster Stunning Grin drawn the pole for Rod Petroff, dual Inter Dominion placegetter and Group 1 winner Flaming Flutter in gate two for Greg Sugars, reigning Country Cups Champion Yankee Rockstar to in three for Gavin Lang and evergreen 36-time winner Smudge Bromac the rank outsider of the field for David Aiken in barrier five.

Meanwhile, legendary drivers will contest the annual Oxley Feed Mills Veteran Drivers Trot tomorrow night at Bendigo (Race 4).

Cliff Powell, Neville Welsh, Peter Manning, Keith Pratt, Graeme Whittle, Brian Gath, Graeme Lang, Dick Lee, Bill Spiteri, Jim O’Sullivan and Noel Shinn will all jump in the gig in the 2150-metre race at 7.40pm.

The race meeting is the annual ‘Memorial night’ meet, honouring past Bendigo and district greats such as Ken and Daphne Pocock, Ron Pocock, Less Pratt, Ted Manton, Henry McDermott and Merv Dillon.

Bendigo’s 10-race card kicks off at 6pm.

Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

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