The country cups circuit swings into Horsham Wednesday night with six heats of the Group 2 Exchange Hotel Horsham Cup. The short series, which concludes with Sunday Night’s final, always attracts a high quality field looking to tame the long straights of the 480m layout.
Finishing second in last year’s final, Enry Walt’s strong racing style is suited by the Horsham track and he is the highlight of a very good first heat. Starting from four, with a vacant box on his outer, Enry Walt should get the galloping room he needs to put himself in the finish. In a race which all seven entrants could win without surprising, you would have to suggest the box draw suits Leprechaun Chloe and Stanford Bale from two and eight respectively.
After a game third placing in the Australian Cup final, Mid Levels gets a chance to continue its good form. Drawing the red box, she should lead all the way trainer Peter Giles. Lethal Power looks the immediate danger from the outside draw, especially after recent provincial wins over Miss Bel Air and Marbro Man. Look for the ever-consistent Sandhog and Lektra Fly to be up near the top placings.
Smoke Home has proven himself as a serious contender after holding good form this year. Having his first look at the track but he has the class to progress through in heat three. Silent Guardian bounced back after a below-par run in his Australian Cup heat and will appreciate the space given to him in box eight. Salvador Bale never wastes box one while Flash Drive looks the classiest of the rest.
Greta Bale looked the hottest provincial dog in Victoria at one stage and should add another win to the tally here in heat four. With a repeat dose of her Ballarat Cup winning form, Greta Bale can make a strong presence in the series as a whole. Ed Pacino debuted at the track last week with a great win and will be dashing home at the end. Led Zeppelin can’t be discounted either after showing form in Group company interstate.
Heat five is arguably the most even heat with the middle boxes looking the most likely to take victory. Mint Power is a wonderfully bred youngster from the Darren McDonald Kennel who is more than capable. Malta is the strongest in the field but cannot afford to put a paw wrong in the early stages from box four. Old-timer Birthday Boy keeps running good races and rarely runs poorly at Horsham. Best of the others look to be Where’s Hannibal and Lektra Express.
Moving onto the final heat where Blazing Chaos has the red draw. Likely to be giving away a start, Blazing Chaos has shown in recent efforts that he is back to the form that saw him represent Queensland in the 2010 National Sprint Final. Also needing a return to form is Radley Bale for Graeme Bate. He has been costly in his past two runs but gets a chance to atone if it can get luck from an ordinary draw. Hot Grille, Gaelic Bale, and Vee Best Vane look the most likely to make up the minor placings along with the veteran, Amakler Girl.
The winners of the six heats will join the two fastest seconds for a chance to grab the $28,000 Group 2 Horsham Cup title for 2011. Our Toyman was the 2010 champion while Velocette who won in 2009.