Sunday afternoon’s $14,000 St Arnaud Pacing Cup will have a familiar ring, with the first three placegetters from the Ouyen Pacing Cup set to lock horns again, eight months and a couple of hundred kilometres apart.
Perspective led all the way over the 2423 metres at Ouyen to capture the cup for the Brooke Hansen/Tim O’Brien stable and driver Mark Pitt.
The gelding held Great Western pacer Motu Meteor at bay and scored by a neck from the more fancied runner, which was gallant in defeat after racing outside most of the trip.
A gap of eight metres at Ouyen saw Carload come in third for the John Justice-Ellen Tormey combo after enjoying a cosy run.
Fast-forward to Sunday, and while at first glace Perspective looks to be drawn awkwardly on the inside of the second line behind the mobile, it may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise. A huge unknown factor in the contest is former Kiwi pacer Buster Brady, first up in Oz for novice trainer Kima Frenning. The 6YO gelding has drawn the coveted pole position, and the winner of eight races and $168,000 on the other side of the ditch has trialled impressively at Shepparton in the lead up.
Perspective’s driver Chris Alford will be hoping Buster Brady shows enough early dash to hold the front, allowing his charge to settle hard on Buster’s back and awaiting the sprint lane over the final stages.
Motu Meteor and driver Kerryn Manning will have to round up the entire field from gate 11 over the relative short trip of 2150 metres, but the class act of the field has proven he is capable of doing just that, even on the smaller 800-metre circuits. Carload has drawn ideally in barrier two and has the necessary gate speed to take advantage.
Herehecomes is also capable of running into the money for the Stephen O’Donoghue-Rebecca Bartley team.
(11) Motu Meteor (1) Buster Brady (2) Carload (4) Herehecomes
The gates at Lord Nelson Park will open at noon for a nine-race program of harness action with the first event at 1.11pm and the last at 5.48pm.
At Ararat (N) Wednesday, November 14; Gunbower Cup meetings (D) Sunday 18th; Horsham (D) Monday 26th; Stawell Cup meeting (D) Sunday, December 2.
Last return: $20.70 @ Stawell gallops
Best bet: R2 No 10 Imprincessgemma $5 win
Value bet: R6 No 1 Fratellino $4 eachway
Multi bet: Running double R8 Nos 1, 2, 4, 11 into 2, 5, 8, 9 spend $7