15 high class stayers will contest the heats of the $40,000 Group 2 Sportingbet Summer Distance Plate on Saturday night at Wentworth Park. These staying heats are the perfect compliment to the eight other races on the card that comprise the Group 1 Paws of Thunder heats.
Heat One (Race 1 at 7:28pm)
Victorian trainer Robert Britton prepares two chasers in this first heat. Born Ali has been racing well of late, with a last start win over the staying trip at Sandown, and prior to that making the Group 1 Sale Cup final. The difficulty for her is the box seven draw as she prefers to be drawn inside. Britton’s other chaser is the veteran Mimicking, who has box four. He gets back in his runs and has won at the track in a moderate 42.94.
Tony Brett has Benarkin engaged in box two. The dog has won six of his last 10 starts and loves an inside draw. His last ten starts have been at Albion Park and this is his first start at the track. Set to Shine was a recent Summer a Cup place getter at Wentworth Park and has done plenty of racing around the circuit. Her best time is 42.25 and she has box eight, a draw from which she has scored three wins and four placings from 11 starts.
Dyna Werribee has box six, not the best draw for the Victorian chaser, but she is more than capable on her day and likely to be up there in the top four at the finish. Where’s Keroma, from box three, looks the best of all the others. He has won at the track in 42.43, but hasn’t won a race since early November. Cassar Girl (box one) and Little Rum (box five) are rising steeply in class and may struggle.
Heat Two (Race 2 at 7:50pm)
This heat is full of group performers with Lucy Wires, Smart Valentino and Dyna Willow all drawn in this heat and all drawn next to each other. Lucy Wires has her favoured box two draw and she has raced well at Wentworth Park, winning the Sydney Cup last year. She has run 42.09 at the track and is obviously one of the main chances. Dyna Willow returns to the scene of her triumph in the Summer Cup. She loves Wentworth Park, winning both times she has visited and running 41.92 on both occasions. She has box four and if she leads, will give Lucy Wires something to chase.
In box three sits Smart Valentino, the 2013 National Distance champion. In recent runs, he has raced over the 520 at Bathurst and 535 at Richmond, winning at Bathurst and placing at Richmond. Over the staying trip at Wentworth Park he has recorded five wins and a best of 41.88. He is a run on dog so will need to position himself well during the run.
Freddy’s Smile is returning from a successful Victorian campaign and has drawn a suitable inside draw. He is yet to win at Wentworth Park from four starts and faces a tough ask against seasoned group performers. Destini Fireball has been a grand campaigner and he lines up from box seven. He hasn’t won since July 2013 but is more than capable of running a cheeky race. Rex Best (box six) and Buddy Right (box eight) will need some luck in order to feature.
The first four place getters from each heat will move through to next Saturday’s final.