The Hot Seat (Weekender) with Brittany Graham 07-05-2021

In The Gig Harness Racing expert, BRITTANY GRAHAM, looks ahead to all the action coming up and tosses in a tip or two along the way.

 

FOR the second week in a row G1 racing will staged at harness headquarters in Victoria.

Tabcorp Park Melton will host the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Platinum Homegrown Classic finals for two-year-old trotters over the sprint trip on Saturday night.

In the colt’s and gelding’s division, only ten runners contested the lone heat at Maryborough with all starters progressing through to the final. The fillies division did host two heats with a total of 15 fillies competing therefore the top five in each heat improve through to their rich final.

This occurrence begs the question, are there too many G1 races on the Australian calendar?

Everybody strives to reach the elite level in this sport which requires a great deal of hard work, patience, perseverance and talent and each participants success in certainly deserved. However, after a quick count I noted 91 pacing G1 events programmed for this year across Australia and a further 34 for the trotting gait. That is 125 G1 opportunities this year alone.

Does having this many elite level ‘graded’ races take away from the prestige of winning a G1?

I am sure those who win them would no doubt disagree and this is a great marketing tool to promote ownership opportunities in the sport, however my opinion is that there are simply too many.

The current requirements are purely prizemoney based - $50,000 for trotters and $100,000 for pacers to qualify as a race to be deemed a G1.

There is so much more to a race’s stature including prestige, history and who is in fact even eligible to contest such events.

Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree, and I guess the argument would be that there is no distinct negative to having so many G1 events, though I think we need to fiercely protect such an honour and elevate it to the level it deserves.

 

Check out the latest TAB Harness Racing markets here.

 

NEXT GEN SEARCH OFF TO A FLYER

ARGUMENTS on G1’s aside, it is great to see the juvenile square gaiters starting to step out as the search begins for the next TORNADO VALLEY (pictured) or SUNDEES SON.

In the colt’s division, the beautifully bred KYVALLEY PIERRO has drawn perfectly in gate one for Brent Lilley and Chris Alford. A son of MUSCLE HILL, his three starts to date have proven that he has good ability and good manners which are so important at this stage of the season. He was beaten in the heat by PLYMOUTH CHUBB after that professional two-year-old was able to lead and dictate.

How good would it be to see Peter and Kerryn Manning combine for another feature juvenile race victory together!

The girls will line up later in the evening as race eight on the 10-race card, where the event is far more open.

ALDEBARAN MISTY was able to make amends for a debut mistake when she ran a slick 1.59.7 mile rate in her heat last Friday when leading.

Brad Angrove is well represented with STINGOFAWASP who chased the above mentioned gamely into second in the first heat whereas EBONYS AVENGER secured her second victory in the following heat.

TORNADO VALLEY will also have another crack at entry into the millionaire’s club in the eighth event on the program, the Vulcan Trotters FFA, when he will be forced to overcome the second row once more.

 

Check out the latest TAB Futures markets here.

 

LOCAL HOPE LOOKING TO DOUBLE DOWN

CAN ALDEBARAN URSULA complete the big double?

After saluting in last week’s NSW Trotters Oaks, aided by a super Robert Morris drive, the local filly will be looking for further feature race success when lining up from the inside gate against the boys.

Again, a wave of Victorian invaders are trapsing North including the likes of HAVE NO FEAR and KYVALLEY HOTSPUR who will be ultra-competitive on their exposed feature race form to date.

WATTS UP MAJESTIC will also be trying to keep the trophy in New South Wales after a decisive victory 10 days ago placed him right in contention for his trainer/driver Rickie Alchin.

The open class event also looks to be a highlight over the mile trip where CASH N FLOW will return off a freshen.

Scratched a fortnight ago, he will start from his regular outside gate position whereas his new stablemate MAJOR ROLL certainly creates plenty of interest first-up for Belinda McCarthy and has been kept safe in the TAB market.

 

LOOKING TO THE STARS IN QLD WINTER

THE Queensland Winter Carnival, or TAB Constellations as it will be known, is gaining more momentum by the day.

With invitations already accepted by EXPENSIVE EGO, PATSBEACHSTORM, KRUG and COPY THAT, The Rising Sun is shaping as a superb showcase of three and four-year-old talent.

Add to that KING OF SWING on track to defend his Blacks A Fake title, alongside a swarm of his well performed stablemates and several other key stables targeting the carnival, it is shaping as a blockbuster.

This week SPANKEM made an early arrival in the ‘sunshine state’, joining the stables of Darren Weeks and Kylie Rasmussen to no doubt chase all the open class riches. The 2019 Miracle Mile champion is currently a $9 chance in the TAB market for the Blacks A Fake grand circuit event on July 24.

 

BEST BET OF THE WEEKEND

Menangle Saturday: R2 No.6 Kingmaker

VALUE BET OF THE WEEKEND

Albion Park Saturday: R2 No.10 Clarry

 

Brittany Graham is a regular host on Sky Racing and the Sky Racing Active app, plus In The Gig with Ben Way and Gareth Hall every Tuesday night on Sky Racing 2 from 6pm.

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