Day At The Track

Talented youngsters in the Golden Nursery

11:43 PM 10 May 2018 NZST
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Mackalan, harness racing
Mackalan will try to maintain his unbeaten record

Three heats of the 2018 Golden Nursery Stakes (1800m) for two-year-olds highlight harness racing at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night.

The Sam and Pauline Spirou Golden Nursery heat one sees the Tyson Linke-trained Mackalan try to maintain his unbeaten record.

In both wins, the two-year-old has been able to trail the leader and use the sprint lane but on Saturday he has to come from gate five, so it will be interesting to see what tactics driver Danielle Hill adopts.

Mackalan has not shown brilliant gate speed in either run, and instead has been driven conservatively.

The Justin Brewin-trained Above Average has brilliant gate speed and looks the likely leader from gate three, but connections would prefer to take a sit and allow him to sprint home like he did when second to Mackalan in the Sapling Stakes.

An interesting runner is the Anthony Robinson-trained and driven Livinontheedge.

He was backed from $14 into $4.70 last week on race debut and settled at the tail of the field but met early interference and was a distant last with a lap to go eventually finishing seventh, beaten just under 30 metres by Culture King.

Livinontheedge had trialled nicely and from gate four on Saturday should be a lot more competitive.

Robinson also has a good drive on Pinkie Promise in the HRSA / SA BOTRA Golden Nursery heat two.

Trained by Andrew Gilbert, Pinkie Promise was a little disappointing in finishing sixth to Mackalan in the Sapling Stakes but from gate three on Saturday expect him to be a better winning chance.

The interesting runner in this heat is the Tyson Linke-owned and trained Marcelo which has drawn gate one.

Marcelo, with Linke in the sulky, ran a close second against older horses in a Port Pirie 1609m trial on March 20 sprinting home a last half in 58.8 seconds. Top driver Danielle Hill takes the reins on Saturday, and from gate one, expect him to be prominent.

Consistent Culture King, which broke through last week for trainer-driver Paul Cavallaro, is sure to run well again despite coming from gate five.

The Alabar Golden Nursery heat three gives Bubbles And Cheese a chance to score his first win.

Last week, Bubbles And Cheese, having his first start for trainer Bronte Giorgio, looked a possible winner when taking a narrow lead over Above Average, but the pair locked wheels for a short time allowing Culture King to go past and win.

From gate one on Saturday,with Michael Smith in the sulky, the two-year-old has the speed to push through and lead and will take some running down.

See how form expert Ben Harding sums up the Golden Nursery heats at trotsguide.com.au with his comments and selections for the seven-race Globe Derby Park meeting.

Fast and Furious Friday

Classy young pacers Clarenden Valour and Bulletproof Boy renew their rivalry at Globe Derby Park on Friday night in the HRSA Three-Year-Old Colts & Geldings heat one (2230m).

As two-year-olds the pair clashed six times, with honours going to the Scott Ewen-trained and driven Bulletproof Boy.

With three wins from the occasions they've met, Bulletproof Boy took the points, but Clarenden Valour did finish in front of him in other races including a second to That’s Perfect in the Southern Cross final when Ewen’s pacer finished fourth.

As three-year-olds, they are both now back in form and go into Friday night’s race with wins at their last start.

The Claire Goble-trained Clarenden Valour did it tough at Globe Derby Park last Saturday sitting three-wide for the last lap but still managing to hold off Steinman.

On Monday, at Strathalbyn, Bulletproof Boy sprinted home well to run down Malone Ranger, which also competes on Friday from gate one.

Tactics will be interesting on Friday.

Bulletproof Boy, from gate six, has the pace to go forward, but Ewen would unlikely want to sit outside Malone Ranger for the longer trip, and instead may opt to go back, which could mean he will settle at the tail of the field.

Clarenden Valour, with Wayne Hill in the sulky from gate eight, has the speed to follow Tunza Tenacity which will come from gate two and should find himself midfield in the running line on settling down.

If that is the scenario, Ewen, no doubt would come forward with a lap to go to try and force Hill to do what he did last week and come out three wide for the last lap on Clarenden Valour which could see Bulletproof Boy prove too strong in the run to the finish.

It would be unwise to consider the race simply a match between those two as Malone Ranger, Betting Man and Masonjon are also worthy of consideration as is the Heather Stevens-trained Bettorhavtime which appears to have its chances lessened by gate seven.

The Bob Maloney-trained Malone Ranger, with Michael Smith to drive, looks the leader and could take running down.

Betting Man, owned by the late Doug Webster and with Jake Webster aboard, is an improver while Masonjon, trained by Stephen Papps and to be driven by Ken Rogers, has won two of its three starts and is resuming from a spell.

Three-year-old squaregaiter Heezaladiesman will be out to make it three wins straight in the Just Wrecking Toyota’s Trotters Handicap (2230m).

Trained and driven by Lane Johnson, Heezaladiesman will come off a 20-metre handicap but provided he has his mind on the job should be too good for his rivals.

In winning last Saturday, the three-year-old was a bit unruly at the start but off a handicap, should be better behaved.

Go to trotsguide.com.au to read form expert Ben Harding’s thoughts on the seven-race Globe Derby Park meeting with comments and selections for all races.

Graham Fischer
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