Simply Sam drawn to dash late but will they let Ravishing get away with murder again?
Simply Sam needs only to hit the line hard at Kilmore on Friday night to tell trainer Ray Green that he’s primed for the Victoria Derby.
A last start winner at Shepparton, Simply Sam is handicapped by a second row draw in the A$25,000 Withers Classic, from where Green says he’ll need a lot of luck to beat impressive Ballarat winner Captain Ravishing.
“If he gets away with murder again in front, he’ll be impossible to beat,” said Green of Captain Ravishing who ripped off unheard of closing sectionals of 52.8 and 25.1 in the Holloway Classic.
“He’s obviously a very fast horse but I’ve got a suspicion he might not cope with being mauled a bit.”
Green says he can’t imagine the other drivers will let Captain Ravishing get away with walking to the quarter on Friday but the next three favourites have all drawn the second row and Simply Sam won’t be in a position to force the issue.
“He’ll need a bit of luck from the second row and I’m hoping he can get a nice suck into the race.
“This isn’t the race we’re here for. And, while it would be great to win a $25,000 race, as long as he gets home well, I”ll be happy.
“Then he should be firing on all eight cylinders for the derby heats the following week.”
The A$200,000 Victoria Derby on October 8 is still also a likely target for stablemate Argyle who goes round out of his grade three races later.
An all-the-way winner at Melton on September 10, Argyle is the lowest rated in the rating 75 to 85 over 2180 metres but that’s by design, says Green.
“We had two choices - go in this race from a good alley or draw badly in a lesser race.
“I ran it past our driver Nathan Jack and he said in the easier field he’d have to loop the field and rough it. “He’s always gone his best races getting a handy trip and that’s what he’ll get from two. Sure, he’s racing out of his grade and they’re all tidy horses but there’s nothing wonderful in there.”
Argyle has continued to thrive since his win at Melton in a R67-R75 race after which Green did some remedial shoeing on the horse.
“We had flip flops on him before. He had a bit of an issue when an abscess blew out of his heel and, while the hoof grew down, the flip flops kept it off the ground.
“But we’ve taken them off, trimmed his feet up a bit, and he has aluminium shoes on in front now.”
Copy That in good shape
Meanwhile, last week’s decisive Gammalite winner Copy That trained this morning on the straight track at Yabby Dam Farm.
“He’s in good shape. I’m about to go and put new shoes on him,” said Green enjoying a milder day in Ballarat after five days when the cold “was like being on the dark side of the moon.
“I’m hoping he’ll be on top of his game in the Smoken Up Sprint next week then it’s the big one, the Victoria Cup, on October 8.”
Copy That remains an $8.50 third favourite for the New Zealand Trotting Cup, behind Self Assured ($3) and Akuta ($4).
More news in Harness
Argyle salutes at last and Mark confident he’ll keep the till ticking over in the next grade
Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please
Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday
Why Lincoln Farms had to buy lot 68 - his older brother Lincoln Lou is ready to rock
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”