Day At The Track

Stars collide in Melbourne trotting feature

08:29 AM 23 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Tornado Valley,Harness racing
Stuart McCormack photo

This is it….this is what we’ve been waiting for!

The two best  trotters from either side of the ditch are coming head to head for the first time this season.

Tornado Valley vs Marcoola.

And the battle ground is TABCORP Park, Melton this Saturday night.

Its leg three of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters and as it stands, they sit equal at the top of the leaderboard following their respective victories in the Inter Dominion Grand Final and the Dominion.

Both have collected 100 points to date.

So the winner walks away with more than bragging rights.

Who will take the Gr.1 $250,000 What The Hill Great Southern Star?

Will it be Tornado Valley and his relentless hard running or will the sublime speed of Marcoola be on full display?

And they will have a great view of each other early after drawing ideally off the front-line; they will start side by side in the 2760m mobile start event.

The Andy and Kate Gath prepared Tornado Valley has landed gate two while the Ken and Clint Ford conditioned Marcoola starts to his immediate outside in gate three.

The Gath’s combined with Glenferrie Typhoon who proved triumphant in 2017.

Speedy Sydney prepared performer Tough Monarch has landed the coveted inside gate and looms as the knockout runner following his effortless last start victory at TABCORP Park, Menangle.

Inter Dominion runner-up Sky Petite will start from gate four for trainer Mick Stanley and young driver Ryan Duffy; the speedy mare will carry plenty of support yet again.

Outstanding young horseman Anton Golino prepares both Pizza Queen (gate 5) and Dance Craze (gate 13) and both will also have plenty of support owing to their consistent form.

New Zealand stars Speeding Spur (gate 7) and Temporale (gate 12) are no strangers to success on Australian soil and both return with brilliant recent form, while the barrier draws aren’t kind they will certainly make their presence felt.

Speeding Spur won the Great Southern Star back in 2016.

Last start E B Cochran Cup winner Save Our Pennys (gate 8) represents father/son combination of Graeme and Gavin Lang and commands respects given his ultra-consistent form surge of late.

Classy mare Red Hot Tooth (gate 9), a last start winner of the George Gath at Shepparton can only improve on effort from last season when finishing at the rear of the field, the Kari Males prepared mare is more seasoned and mature commodity and appeals as a knockout hope.

Veteran performer Kyvalley Blur (gate 10) is also looking to improve on last year’s effort (10th behind Sparkling Success) and is drawn to follow out behind Marcoola, the Brent Lilley prepared gelding performed well at his most recent start in the George Gath behind Red Hot Tooth.

Emerging talent Big Jack Hammer (gate 11) continues to thrive on racing in the elite company this season and although the draw is unkind, the David Aiken prepared gelding can’t be completely overlooked.

With defending champion Sparkling Success absent owing to injury, the depth in the field this year is outstanding with total class spread across the field.

Since conditions changed in 2017, Australian trained trotters have proved victorious but will that trend continue this year?

What a contest…what a race!

The Great Southern Star is scheduled as race six and listed to start at 9.00pm local time.


Chris Barsby


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