Day At The Track

Hector hammered

11:35 AM 15 Jun 2017 NZST
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rsz_hectorjayjay.jpg
Hectorjayjay
Photo - Stuart McCormick

Fans have been dished-up an unexpected treat at Menangle on Saturday night.

Trainer Kevin Pizzuto telegraphed early his plans to back-up Tiger Tara, but the twist in the race came when David Aiken opted to run Hectorjayjay as well.

So, just eight days before the Group 1 Len Smith Mile, we get a mini preview with two of Australia’s best pacers locking horns in the Family Dun Day Sunday Pace (2300m).

As impressive as Tiger Tara was storming home off a slow pace to beat Lennytheshark and others in last week’s Golden Mile, all the early money is for Hectorjayjay to beat him on Saturday.

Amazingly, Hectorjayjay was smashed from $1.60 into $1.45 and then again in $1.35 within minutes of the Aussie TAB opening its fixed odds market. Tiger Tara has eased from $2.60 to $3.

Both will start from the back row, but Hectorjayjay looks to be drawn better starting from two-out on the back as he can potentially through better and settle in front of Tiger Tara.

Tiger Tara has the inside back row (gate 11) and follows out rank outsider Demolition Dave, meaning driver Todd McCarthy will surely snag and look to get straight away from the inside into the running line. It means he will settle near last.

Against that, Tiger Tara’s great strength is his stamina and the stretch from last week’s 1609m to 2300m plays to his favour.

The glamour pair are classes above their rivals and it promises to be a fascinating race of tactics and an ideal “teaser” to the best Len Smith Mile in recent memory.

Saturday night’s Menangle card also features semi-finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge for three and four-year-olds.

By far the biggest name stepping-out in them is NSW and NZ Derby winner Vincent, who is a $1.04 favourite from gate four in the second of the three-year-old colts and geldings division. Luke McCarthy is down to take the drive.

Another highlight of the card is the Group 3 Frith Stakes (1609m) where the key players are Cyclone Kate (gate 14), Rocker Band (12) and Miss Riviera Belle (five).

Kiwi mare Rocker Band has moved from Craig Demmler’s Victorian stable to Mark Jones’ Menangle satellite stable and Ashlee Grives is down for the drive on Saturday night.

Rocker Band and Cyclone Kate share $3.40 favourite in the Aussie TAB’s early fixed odds market.


Adam Hamilton

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