Will Hot Rod Harry Rev Up?

A pair of $50,000 features for three-year-old pacers highlight a ten-race card this Saturday night from The Creek.

Following the heats held last Friday for the Australian Pacing Gold Bullion Series, the Ladbrokes market has odds-on favourites in each of the two divisions.

Hot Rod Harry was the big winner at the barrier draw when landing gate 1 in the colts and geldings and was installed as a $1.85 chance when the market opened, drifting marginally to $1.90 by Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Soap Opera has also been easy, opening at $1.28 before being a $1.35 chance by mid Friday as Merry Jewel met with some support to firm from $7.50 in to $5.50.

Soap Opera was huge in victory last week, making a mess of the start and then catching the field before reeling them in down the stretch, running her own last 800 in 54.89 seconds for a dominant victory.

Although now faced with the outside second line gate for this week’s Final, the Darren Weeks trained filly looks to have the measure of her opposition.

If she does prove too classy, the race for the minors should be keenly contested and several chances can feature.

Merry Jewel was impressive when sweeping to victory in her heat and driver Brendan Barnes is hopeful that the filly can settle in the run.

“We’ve got the draw advantage and I’d love to lead, but in saying that, I am a little bit worried that in a couple of trials when she was in front, she pulled, pulled way to hard,” Barnes said.

“The last couple of starts with a sit, she’s been quite settled and had a bit left.

“I would love to lead, but I’m hoping she doesn’t bring herself undone if she wants to get keen again.”

If Merry Jewel can lead the field, other fillies that look to have place prospects would likely be against the peg line, including the Grant Dixon trained and driven Majorita Jujon and Tobefairtoyou for trainer Anna Woodmansey and driver Mat Neilson.

In the colts and geldings Bullion Final, Hot Rod Harry gives trainer/driver Trent Dawson to grab feature race success, with the speedster securing gate one.

First up from a let up in the heats, he rolled forward in the middle stages to sit parked and just peaked late, allowing a race fit Checknoutthetalent to arrive for victory.

Hot Rod Harry has been a work in progress, his ability is evident, but he is far from the complete package.

Throwing the race away at the 250m point two starts back when over 15 metres clear of the field and looking full of running, his past four starts have been seen him begin from either gate six or seven.

The other heat winner was Dele Row and that gelding has drawn inside the second line, meaning he maps for what looks like the stalking trip on the back of Hot Rod Harry.

Dele Row will go from hunted to hunter for the Final, leading throughout and scorching up the stretch in 26.5 in his victory last Friday, he will be waiting for the gap to open this week.

Luke McCarthy will fly North from Sydney to partner Chicago Bart who was sectionally strong in his heat, with Quik Change likely to improve from his third.

Resuming from a spell, last season’s Queensland two-year-old pacer of the year was strong to the line behind Checknoutthetalent, producing the fastest last 800 from the race.


Chris Barsby: R10 N2 Bonnies Dance – “Small field suits, she has got options form gate two. Maybe the leader is drawn to her inside, in Elouisa Dale, she might be able to pop straight in behind the speed, either scenario, I think she is going to be in the right spot.”

Darren Clayton: R3 N6 Collect A Dime – “This guy has been airborne in recent weeks and despite the tough gate, he looks up to the task. His win three starts back was big and then last time he just gave them the cold shoulder.”