Ashley Locaz gives John a nice chance in Pacers Grand Final
It has been an interesting week for driver John Dunn. Just as he was getting over the disappointment of Classie Brigade not making this year's Inter-Dom Pacers Grand Final, he received a phone call from the All Stars stable offering him the drive on Ashley Locaz. From a really good barrier draw and after some impressive work mid-week, you get the impression that John is really looking forward to donning a new set of colours.
It is disappointing that neither of our stable runners are in tonight's final, instead contesting the consolation. Stable star Classie Brigade simply had no luck through the heats, with a run of draws that could not get any worse. To miss a spot in the final was incredibly disappointing for the connections, especially after his stellar runs over cup week. Henry Hubert was similarly placed in terms of the draws battling throughout the series and will keep for better days.
However, a horse that did fare somewhat better with the draws and seemed to finish the heats running back into his best form is Ashley Locaz. In Ultimate Sniper's third heat win last Friday, he could be seen getting home with great gusto, finishing just a length and a half behind his stablemate in 4th place. He is one of the strongly supported runners tonight from a good frontline barrier and it would be no surprise to see him snare a top four spot in tonight's final.
The final will be a cracking race. Ultimate Sniper has all the momentum coming out of the heats and is a deserved hot favourite. Cruz Bromac has done little wrong since his New Zealand Cup win and does appear the one horse with the speed to trouble the hot-pot if he got the right trip.
Our stable are represented in the Trotters Grand Final through Valloria, to be driven by Tim Williams.
A $201 shot on the fixed odds markets, Valloria appears to be given no chance. However, the reality is that he is racing in career best form, produced a very good 5th placing in the Dominion Handicap (later disqualified) and has put in two good runs for 4th through the heats. He is generally faultless with his gait and is as honest as they come. While he lacks the brilliance of some of the more favoured runners, he will again put in a solid run if he gets the right sort of trip.
Classie Brigade and Henry Hubert as mentioned, run around in the consolation for the pacers, Race Seven. You guessed it, they have both been deserted by any luck when it comes to the barrier draw and will have to make their own luck.
Henry Hubert (Tim), draws one the second line on the back of a roughie in Check In. Gatespeed is not really his forte anyway so you can be sure that Tim will be looking for the best chance to get into the race at some point. If he can produce his Heat Two run, when he was very unlucky, he can definitely run a place here.
Classie Brigade was a victim of circumstances last week. From a bad draw, he had to be put into the race, chasing valuable points. Some sharp moves off the back compromised his position and he was left languishing amongst the back few. We know he is a far better horse than that, as he has shown so many times this season. Chances are that John will be chasing the back of the Queenslander Colt Thirty One to get a run into the race and if that run eventuates, he can be right in this.
All the best to both John and Tim with their respective drives in the Inter-Dom finals this evening.
Posted: Sat 14 Dec 2019