Heavy Albion Park surface could play into the hands of unlucky Man Of Action
Lady Luck deserted Man Of Action at Albion Park last week but the tough pacer can make amends on Tuesday on a track favouring on-pace runners.
Trainer Al Barnes expected Man Of Action to win from the trail last Tuesday but he was held up before the home turn when the leader came under pressure.
By the time he worked clear, Soho Tsunami had already sprung out of the one-one and sprinted clear. Man Of Action chased gamely but came up 1.5 metres short.
Instead of starting from a restricting second row draw, Man Of Action goes from four this time, sure to be an asset on a track which is playing against back runners after recent renovations.
“The track’s not playing real good - the surface is still very loose and heavy and nothing is making ground from the back at all,” Barnes said. “It needs to break down and compact.”
Barnes pointed to the inability of any runner to make an impression from the rear last Saturday night.
“Even the good horses are struggling. Colt Thirty One, who sat parked, could run home only in 54.9.”
Former All Stars’ pinup Turn It Up tried to improve from the back, three wide with cover, but could get no closer than third, 10 metres behind the winner.
Barnes isn’t sure if Man Of Action can cross to the lead from four - pole runner Our Friend might try to hold him out - but he’s confident the horse can earn a cheque again.
“We’ll just play the start by ear but I can’t see why he wouldn’t be hard to beat again. He’s done a treat, he’s looking well and feeling good.”
Man Of Action certainly has the ability to go faster than last week. In his Queensland debut he was pipped right on the line in a 1:54.1 mile rate for the 1660 metres, 2.3 seconds faster than Soho Tsunami ran last week.
He should be even better suited to 2138 metres this time.
In other stable news, Northview Hustler will resume from a break on Saturday night.
“I ummed and aahed about whether to start him the way the tracks’ playing because he’s a bit underdone but he can go round.”
More news in Harness
Ray expecting Lincoln Farms pair to go well - but Ashburton isn’t Grand Final day
Al’s bullish $4 tip very nearly comes unstuck as Larry resents being chased
Ray’s faith in Apieceoflou justified - but his mates in the pub didn’t back him!
Early fireworks would help high speed closer Northview Hustler on Saturday night
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Tuesday at Albion Park
Race 8: Man Of Action
7.38pm NZ time
“He’s come through his win last week really well and should run first or second again from another good draw. Soho Tsunami will be a big danger. He’ll get a good trip on our back.”
Friday night at Auckland
Race 1: Apieceoflou
“He’s just been incredibly unlucky - he was knocked over at the start last time - but if things go his way we’ll see a better animal.”
Race 1: Captain Nemo
“If he gets the right trip from five, he’ll be right there at the finish. This is little more than a jumped up maiden race.”
Race 4: Tommy Lincoln
“He’s in a grade now where he can’t get away with being driven like a toe rag all the time and from the second row he’s obligated to have a much more conservative trip. He’ll need a bit of luck but, if he’s not put in the race too soon, he shouldn’t be too far away.”
Race 7: Revitalise
“I’ve scratched him. He’s recovering from a foot abscess.”
Friday night at Melton
Race 1: Make Way
7.33pm NZ time
“He pushed them over the line last week and felt really good - he was only jogging at the finish. The (seven) draw has killed our hopes a bit but you never know …”
Friday at Albion Park
Race 5: Larry Lincoln
10.18pm NZ time
“We’ll drive him quietly on Friday, just hold our position out of the gate, and give him some confidence. It’s not a strong field - it’s a bit of a drop in class on what he’s been racing - and on the times he’s been running in training this week he should be winning.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 3: Northview Hustler
9.48pm NZ time
“His run last week was exceptional. His chances depend on how the race is run. With the one and three horses having gate speed there could be early fireworks, which would suit him, as we’ll probably drive him the same and use his speed late.”
Sunday at Cambridge
Race 6: Bondi Shake
“He would have won had he not galloped close to home last time. He just turned his head to one side when he got alongside that other horse and might have touched a knee. We’ll rectify that by putting two poles on him.”
Monday at Ashburton
Race 5: American Dealer
“From the pole, he should get a perfect trip. It’s hard to know what the others will do but we get out well enough to be handy. He’ll go well but he’s already qualified for the final so there’s no urgency. It would be nice to win it but we don’t have to.”
Race 7: Copy That
“He’s never gone away badly from a stand - he’s always reasonable and safe - so he shouldn’t be far off them when they settle. I see him in midfield. I’m not expecting too much from him. So long as he goes well, I’ll be happy.”