Day At The Track

Star Galleria might need help in Cup

08:37 PM 01 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Star Galleria,Harness racing
Star Galleria
HRNZ photo

In racing, your enemy can very quickly become your friend.

Which is just as well for Steven Reid and Star Galleria heading into tonight’s $500,000 Del-Re National A G Hunter Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton, because if they have any chance of winning they might need some help from those enemies.

Star Galleria is the speed freak New Zealand pacer who looked like he could be anything back in spring until a moderate campaign saw him diagnosed with an entrapped epiglottis.

Since that was operated on Star Galleria has rediscovered his turbo booster, even giving Wrappers Delight a fair start and a beating at Melton last Saturday.

That suggested he could win tonight’s great race until the barrier draw suggested he couldn’t.

Star Galleria has drawn three on the second line, not a killer blow in itself but the real problem is Inter Dominion champion Tiger Tara drew barrier three, from where he should lead and play catch me if you can. They usually can’t.

Sitting on Tiger Tara’s back Star Galleria might have the speed to slingshot a vulnerable version. From the second line he will need help.

Enter, the enemy. Actually, two of them.

They are Thefixer and Cruz Bromac from the Purdon-Rasmussen stable and, quite incredibly, the last eight times Star Galleria has been beaten the race has been won by a Purdon-Rasmussen horse.

But, tonight, they might be his only hope, because all three are likely to settle back and move in the middle stages.

“I think that is our best chance, rather than trying to punch through at the start on the back of Tiger Tara,” Reid said.

“In those big staying races being out of the early rush can often be a good thing, but if Tiger Tara runs straight to the front we could all be in trouble.

“So I hope there is some pressure early and then the Kiwis all move together. Maybe then, if we get the right sit, we have a chance, because I couldn’t be happier with my horse.”

Thefixer beat Tiger Tara in the New Zealand Cup, but that was when he hugged the marker pegs and the Tiger had to come wide. Tonight the horseshoe is very much on the other hoof.

Unless Group 1 fever strikes a couple of the drivers or Tiger Tara performs below his best, the result might be different too.

 

Michael Guerin

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