By Adam Hamilton
Exciting young Kiwi Mexicana is a hot favourite to cap a remarkable Aussie raid by winning next Saturday night’s Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotting fillies.
Already with the Group 1 Redwood in the bag, Mexicana was wayward winning her Crown heat, but snared he coveted pole draw for the final.
She’s a $1.65 Aussie TAB favourite to make it three-from-three in Australia for young Kiwi trainer Josh Dickie and driver Greg Sugars.
Kate and Andy Gath’s filly Aldebaran Ursula, who has chased home Mexicana at her past two runs, is drawn to follow her throughout from inside the back row (gate eight). She’s $5.50 equal second favourite with another Kiwi raider, Brent Lilley’s Queen Elida (gate two).
Another former Kiwi, Anthony Butt’s Have No Fear, heads the betting in the 2YO colts and geldings Crown final from the pole.
He was beaten in his heat, but looks the leader from the pole and will be as hard to beat as any in a more open race.
Lilley’s Aldebaran Zeus (gate four, $3.40) and Jodi Quinlan’s headstrong but talented Illawong Barmah (gate 12, $4.80) look the other major players.
And NSW visitor Watts Up Majestic has had good support ($6 into $4.60) from gate three.
In the other Crown trotting finals, Matty Craven’s Queen Of Crime is $3 favourite from the pole in the 3YO fillies with Im Ready Jet drawn behind (gate eight, $3.50) and looking the main danger.
One of very few trotters Emma and Clayton Tonkin train, Cover Of Darkness, is $2.25 favourite to stretch his unbeaten record to six starts from gate two in a strong 3YO colts and geldings final.
It’s likely he’ll ease with so many other key players like NSW raiders Gimondi (gate six, $4.50), Elite Stride (10, $6.50) as well as the tough and talented local Powderkeg (gate three, $4.50).
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The Kiwi connections flows into the 3YO colts and geldings Crown pacing final with former Kiwi Zeuss Bromac favourite from the pole.
He’s kept getting better over time for trainer Blake Fitzpatrick and a superb Kerryn Manning drive helped him win the strongest semi last night.
Manning takes the reins again in the final on the $2.60 favourite, who’s good draw is made even better with his major dangers all off the back.
They are headed by Mach Dan (gate nine, $4), Pacifico Dream (13, $6.50) and Loorim Lake (12, $9).
The 3YO fillies final looks one of the weakest of the series with Techys Angel and Sweet Marie winning the semis.
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Tough Tilly has the draw to end the unbeaten streak of her glamour stablemate Ladies In Red in the Breeders Crown 2YO fillies’ pacing final.
In fact, Tough Tilly was so impressive leading throughout in her semi-final for driver Kate Gath she is favourite to use gate two to lead and win again.
Ladies In Red has sparkled winning all five starts, including a powerhouse semi final win, but has to overcome the back row (gate 10).
Tough Tilly heads the market at $1.70 from Ladies In Red, to be driven by David Moran, at $2.30.
One of the big guns of the 2YO colts and geldings series Beyond Delight failed to make the final after suffering cardiac arrhythmia and leading and dropping out in his semi.
But his trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton still dominate the final with semi winners Major Moth and Act Now drawn gates one and two.
Mick Stanley’s NSW Breeders Challenge winner Bar Room Banta could be the blowout from inside the back row (gate eight).