Ballarat played host to some sizzling sprinting now we head to Cranbourne for a test of endurance as ID18 wraps up its preliminary rounds.
The third round of heats promises to throw up another bunch of storylines as we work out who is going to be competing for Inter Dominion glory seven days later at Tabcorp Park Melton on December 15.
Check out my preview and see whether we can track down a winner;
TROTTERS HEAT 1
Tornado Valley leads and Tornado Valley wins.
Save Our Pennys (1) and Maori Lawi (3) are drawn inside him but as we saw at Ballarat, nothing can really hold him out – not that you’d want to anyway.
Kate and Andy Gath have this series at their mercy with a horse who has exploded since taking up residence in Australia.
Save Our Pennys and Maori Law are almost certain to make up the podium whilst Tough Monarch and Sky Petite will be forced to get busy to ensure their spot in the final.
1 Tornado Valley (4)
2 Save Our Pennys (1)
3 Maori Law (3)
4 Sky Petite (11)
TROTTERS HEAT 2
Speeding Spur was gallant sitting outside Tornado Valley on night two and with the perfect draw here (gate two) he will be dominant here.
Illawong Armstrong will be keen to track the favourite everywhere and should run second or third whilst Enrolled, the resurgent Kyvalley Blur and Big Jack Hammer will also be prominent.
1 Speeding Spur (2)
2 Illawong Armstrong (1)
3 Big Jack Hammer (8)
4 Enrolled (3)
PACERS HEAT 1
Again, Wrappers Delight and Spankem find themselves in the most competitive race of the night but both should receive relatively straightforward runs despite beginning off the back row.
Spankem will follow through then you’d assume he could take up the front whilst Wrappers Delight will need to circumnavigate to get on speed. There is a really small chance Wrappers Delight is asked to follow the pegs.
There is also a strong chance that Natalie Rasmussen hands up to Wrappers Delight should the former get charging in the run.
Galactic Star draws horrifically again but should comfortably run top four whilst Joes Star Of Mia must perform strongly from gate one.
1 Spankem (9)
2 Wrappers Delight (8)
3 Galactic Star (10)
4 Joes Star Of Mia (1)
PACERS HEAT 3
Tiger Tara is yet to win at ID18 but he gets every chance here across his preferred distance. Gate four will almost guarantee him the front and from there he’d need to go significantly unders to be beaten.
San Carlo needs to lift. For mine, he’s been mediocre and whilst the main prize is a week away you’d like to see him enforce his will on this one.
Audi Hare will almost certainly be trailing Tiger Tara but the 2555m is the concern whilst Cant Refuse is assured of another economical run and therefore opportunity to run top three. Our Uncle Sam and Mach Doro have been going well but neither are a chance here from the draws.
1 Tiger Tara (4)
2 San Carlo (11)
3 Cant Refuse (1)
4 Our Uncle Sam
PACERS HEAT 3
Cruz Bromac will sweep the heats with another cheap kill here. He will be leading after less than a furlong and it’s all about who can fill the placings in behind him. Mattgregor and Franco Nelson, both drawn inside Cruz Bromac, seem logical but Franco Nelson has been somewhat disappointing thus far.
Im Pats Delight is the boom horse and clearly among the leading hopes of winning the final but he will need to do a power of work in this one. Im The Boss will probably death seat to give himself the best chance of qualifying.
1 Cruz Bromac (4)
2 Im Pats Delight (8)
3 Franco Nelson (3)
4 Mattgregor (2)
Caduceus Club 3YO Cup
I had to preview this one as I have not one, but two horses engaged. Vicstar Sharazzz (gate three) and Watch List (gate nine) have both won races for myself and my fellow owners which has given us a huge thrill. Vicstar Sharazzz is a brother to Rackemup Tigerpie who was exceptional in the Gunbower Cup and is the favourite for race one this evening.
Watch List has an even more recognisable sibling – Wrappers Delight. Here’s hoping he follows in his footsteps.
In terms of the race, Demon Delight is obviously the one to beat and has looked amazing winning three from three. Lochinvar Art is a supreme talent and Soho Thunderstruck was immense first-up last week. Hudsen is a beauty and I know the connections of Zoliver are really happy with him.
It’s a hot race and we’re glad to be involved. We are enormous odds but you just never know in racing.
R1: (11) Rackemup Tigerpie
R2: (9) Cruz
R3: Dead-heat between (3) Vicstar Sharazzz & (9) Watch List
R4: (4) Tornado Valley
R5: (2) Speeding Spur
R6: (9) Spankem
R7: (4) Tiger Tara
R8: (4) Cruz Bromac
R9: (9) Augustus Jack
R10: (2) Tact Bess
R1 N11 win
R5 N8 place
R6 Box F4 – 1,8,9,10
R10 N2 win
Enjoy the last round of heats before we look forward to the big one!