by Chris Barsby
Millionaire pacer Hectorjayjay is facing many major hurdles this weekend.
Fresh from his success last weekend, he is now aiming to join an elite group of pacers that have claimed the Sunshine Sprint/Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship double.
Only two horses have achieved the feat in the past decade.
I repeat, two (2).
And it just so happens that those two pacers are the greatest of the modern era – Blacks A Fake (2007) and Im Themightyquinn (2014).
So, the pressure is on.
And a second-line draw has only dampened the mood of landing the big double.
But co-owner Matt McLellan is still upbeat.
“He’s no one trick pony, yes he led last week but some of best victories have come when driven with cover. The Len Smith Mile and Sunshine Sprint last year quickly spring to mind, his speed always gives him a chance.” McLellan said.
The barrier draw was a total bust earlier this week for Team Aiken after both of their star pacers landed second-line draws, Lennytheshark was slammed with gate 8 (the inside of the second-line) while Hectorjayjay was left with gate 12.
In fact, at the public draw, McLellan only had two options when his time was called; it was either 12 or 13
Last year, Hectorjayjay was the beaten favourite in the Blacks A Fake when Ohoka Punter proved too classy in the 2680m feature.
And McLellan is hoping he can go one better this time around.
“I think he’s a more rounded horse this year compared to twelve months ago, given that he’s been on the Grand Circuit trail over the past twelve months has made a big difference. He’s tougher and stronger while he’s still super-fast.
“It’s a great field, really strong with great depth. Obviously Lennytheshark, Tiger Tara and My Field Marshal have my respect because they’re proven performers while there are plenty of other very talented runners engaged.
“If we get the right horse to follow then we’ll be right in the fight, Josh (Aiken – driver) is driving with good confidence and I know he was really happy with last week and he’s trained on well this week. It’s great to be here and involved in this super race.”
Hectorjayjay sits on the second line of betting with UBET at $4.50, Tiger Tara is quoted at $2.30.
McLellan shares ownership with Earl Sakareassen, Mick Harvey, Jane Hughes, Luke & Paul Stokie and Gareth Hall.
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