By Adam Hamilton
FORMER classy Kiwi stayer Tiger Tara is the big winner from the barrier draw for Saturday night’s $200,540 Group 1 Blacks A Fake (2680m) at Albion Park.
While so many of the biggest names in the race drew the back row, Tiger Tara landed gate five. He will move into four if emergency Jackaroo Bromac doesn’t gain a start.
The Aussie TAB opened Tiger Tara a commanding $2.25 favourite.
David Aiken’s glamour pair Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay both landed back row draws. Lennytheshark has gate eight (inside the back row) and is a $7 shot, while Hectorjayjay is $4.50 from barrier 12.
The other key player is rejuvenated Kiwi pacer My Field Marshal, who beat a similar field in the Group 1 Len Smith and then ran a slashing second to Hectorjayjay in last week’s Group 2 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park.
My Field Marshal drew gate 10 and is a $4.50 chance.
Tiger Tara’s trainer Kevin Pizzuto was delighted with the draw and made his intentions clear.
“Toddy (McCarthy, driver) will be going forward from there. I’d love to find the front, but even if we sit parked he’s still in a good spot,” he said.
“I was happy to stay home and race at Menangle last week rather than go to the Sunshine Sprint because he’s a better stayer than sprinter, especially around the smaller tracks.
“One of the main things which has improved with him since coming to me has been his gait. He’s pacing so much better now and he’ll get off the gate pretty quickly, too.”
Tiger Tara was a victim of circumstances when stuck back in the field and eighth in the Len Smith Mile, but has since brilliantly won two Menangle free-for-alls in slick time.
“He’s as good as I’ve had him,” Pizzuto said. “I’m thrilled to be in the race, but it’s a really strong field and anything could happen.”
One of the surprising acceptors for the race was Kerryn Manning’s Harness Jewels runner-up Mr Mojito, who also drew the back row. He’s a $17 shot from gate 11 in by far the strongest race he has contested.
“Kerryn’s been really happy with his work, so we decided to give him a shot at the main race instead of going for something easier which he’d also have been eligible for on the night,” owner Merv Butterworth said.
Mr Mojito heads to Brisbane with stablemate Motu Meteor, who will lock horns with The More The Better and others in the Group 1 Queensland Derby.
BLACKS A FAKE DRAW
Gp 1. $200,540. Albion Park, 2680m. Saturday night.
- Spare Me Days
- Jackaroo Bromac (emerg)
- Major Crocker
- My Chachingchaching
- Tiger Tara
- Mach Doro
- Majestic Major
- My Field Marshall
- Mr Mojito
- Joys A Babe
Approved By Dean Baring www.harnessbred.com
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