Realistic Mark concedes defeat on Argyle - For Real Life will smash them on Saturday night
Trainer Mark Dux doesn’t like the idea of conceding defeat but he gives Argyle zero chance of beating For Real Life at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Lincoln Farms’ pacer might be in solid form but Trent Dawson’s brilliant four-year-old stands so far above the rest of the field, Dux says all his rivals will be driving only for the minor money.
One of the most exciting pacers in Queensland, For Real Life won eight of his 11 starts last season, including the Triad Final, and is using Saturday night’s 1660 event as a warm-up for the $250,000 Chariots Of Fire in Sydney on March 2.
“It would be a brave man to say they could beat For Real Life, especially the way he trialled last week,” Dux says.
In his first serious hitout for three months, For Real Life clocked a 1:52.3 mile rate for 1660 metres at Albion Park, scoring by 14 metres and swishing home his last 800 in 54.3 and 400 in 26.3.
The For A Reason entire went even quicker in his last race in November when be blitzed the talented Frankie Ferocious over 2138 metres, clocking a 1:55.6 mile rate and flying home in 53.3, his last quarter in 25.7.
“He could sit outside them and beat them on Saturday night but no one would be silly enough to try to park him. I can see him being handed the lead and everyone else will be just hoping they can run a place.”
For Real Life, who on a 93 rating is 17 points higher than his nearest rival, gets into the race courtesy of not having won a metro race on a Saturday night - despite winning feature three-year-old races.
And from gate five, Dux says Dawson will be heading only for one spot - the top.
“Dawson knows how good the horse is and he’ll want a good hit-out before the Chariots. All the other horses will have their tongues out chasing him and he’ll run his last half in 54 something. Do the maths and you’ll see that if you’re out wide you’ll be struggling to even hold your spot. Not even our free-for-allers could beat him coming wide out.”
That’s why Dux says he can see it being a “fence race” for Argyle, who has drawn two on the second row.
“It’s crazy to think we can come wide. We’ve got to go to the fence and drive for luck. We could end up four back but that wouldn’t be that bad if Dawson turns him loose and opens the field up in the last 600 metres.
“I’m sure that’s the way we should play it, take the short cuts, or we’ll end up running fast sectionals and getting nothing.”
Argyle might have finished only sixth last week but Dux says he paced a super race, mounting a solo run from the 600.
“He did all the work improving three wide and carted the winner (Bangkok Deejay) into the race.
“I thought we was really good. He was only three metres from the second horse in a line-up across the track.”
Argyle ran the 2138 metres in a mile rate of 1:54.73, travelling an extra 31 metres and carving out closing sectionals of 28.4, 29.69, 27.55 and 29.09.
Meanwhile, Dux has given Captain Nemo a week off to freshen-up after another game run last week when a 1.5 metres second.
“The heat was killing him. It was so hot on Saturday night and it’s been catching up with him.
“He’ll be back in six weeks and by then it will have cooled down a bit. The weather should be lovely in March.”
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Our runners this week
Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Friday night at Auckland
Race 2: Frisco Bay
“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”
Race 2: Lenny Lincoln
“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”
Race 3: Obadiah Dragon
“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”
Race 3: Leo Lincoln
“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”