The barrier draw for the 2023 Be Good Johnny Sprint has made for an intriguing contest, with Leap To Fame drawing what is potentially an awkward gate from inside the second line.
Grant Dixon’s superstar will start in this week’s sprint and then likely round out his Ladbrokes Inter Dominion preparation in the Queensland Cup to be held here at The Creek on November 11.
Landing inside the second line, the star four-year-old opened at $1.70 in the Ladbrokes market, with fellow four-year-old Future Assured for trainer/driver Trent Dawson on the second line of betting at $3.90, with that price easing to $4 by Thursday afternoon.
Defending champion Blacksadance continued his terrible run of luck with barriers in big races, coming up with the outside front line, with speedster Turn It Up drawn inside him at gate six.
The Jack Butler trained Hot And Treacherous has chased home behind Leap To Fame in some big races this season, placing in the Patrons Purse and Sunshine Sprint, while also finishing third in the Blacks A Fake.
Drawn in gate four, the five-year-old last raced back on October 7, finishing second, again behind Leap To Fame, but this might be his chance to turn the tables.
“I don’t know about that, he is just that good and Grant drives him that good” Butler said.
“He is definitely not out of it from where he is drawn, of course it is going to be hard for him, but lets hope we can get in front of him, but there is still another ten of them in there that are as good as my bloke.
“Just hope we can get a bit of luck and go from there”.
Hot And Treacherous will be driven by premiership leading reinsman, Nathan Dawson and what happens early in this race could take on so many angles, but the son of Captaintreacherous is right in the fight but with an eye also to the upcoming Inters.
“He is about 90% about where I know he can be, these next two weeks and even in the Cup next week he will be even a better horse again.
“The fortnight after that is when we want him hitting his peak, but he won’t disgrace himself, he is pretty forward”.
Future Assured possesses good speed, but it is probably not enough to hold out what is arguably the fastest horse off the arm in Queensland, Turn It Up.
What happens behind if Turn It Up crosses, is equally intriguing.
Will Leap To Fame ease straight back and come around them or does he sit quiet, hoping for a gap and try to out-sprint them?
That is not totally unfamiliar territory, with ‘Larry’ producing a dazzling turn of hoof to claim the Sunshine Sprint during the Constellations Carnival.
What about track record holder and defending champion Blacksadance? Can he make his presence felt from outside the front line.
The only time that Turn It Up has released the front here at The Creek over the mile after starting from a front line gate, it was to Blacksadance.
On that occasion, the Chantal Turpin trained speedster was able to see it out in front to score in 1.50.9.
Garrard’s sponsor this race and the Garrard family will be represented by last start winner Classie Washington, as he faces the sternest test of his career to date.
Who will add their name to the honour roll that includes names such as Mr Feelgood, Washakie, Destreos and Colt Thirty One?
The Garrard’s Be Good Johnny Sprint is Race 5 on Saturday night, scheduled for 8.18pm local time.